Maros Sevkovic said the UK government’s legislation giving UK ministers the power to unilaterally revoke parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol undermines trust and respect for the EU.
The Vice-President of the European Commission also said in a speech at the British-Irish Association conference in Oxford that the UK government’s attempt to change the conditions under which goods could enter the EU single market would be “legally and politically unacceptable.” I can’t think of anything,” he warned.
The government has the power to abolish checks on Irish Sea trade created by the post-Brexit protocol jointly agreed by the UK and the EU as part of the Brexit withdrawal agreement to allow free flow across Ireland’s land borders. I am working on a bill to give to ministers. .
However, Sevkovic said the EU had already put forward “extensive” proposals to address concerns raised by Northern Irish stakeholders regarding the operation of the Protocol.
He said the EU proposal would create express lanes for goods moving from the UK to Northern Ireland and reduce sanitary and phytosanitary checks and controls by more than 80%.
he said: In short, they were fired without consideration.
“The UK hasn’t even had a meaningful discussion since February.
“Instead, we now face the determination of the UK government to push through the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill and not apply the core elements of the Protocol.
“This unilateral action is of course a major concern for the EU.
“The UK government is not alone in changing bilateral agreements and changing the conditions under which goods enter the EU single market and reach consumers.
“This is legally and politically unthinkable.
“This clear violation of international law seriously undermines mutual trust and respect between the EU and the UK.”
Sefkovic said by pushing the bill in the face of criticism, the UK government was creating “serious uncertainty” for businesses and people in Northern Ireland.
“I am confident that with the political will and commitment, we can explore the full potential of our far-reaching proposals and find a way forward.
“This call to the UK government to engage us has been clear for over a year.
“And it still stands – even against the incoming UK prime minister and government.
“Further unilateral actions could give many in the EU the impression that the UK’s leadership is less interested in cooperating with the EU.
“For my part, I am ready to work intensively and constructively with our new British interlocutors to find common solutions within the Protocol.
“The EU will never leave the table.”