The EU will “restart legal action” against the UK over the Northern Ireland Protocol

Hardline Conservative MPs welcomed the government’s move amid fears that current agreements for Northern Ireland could end with the break-up of the UK.

In the face of a possible trade war, Boris Johnson warned EU leaders that it would be “absurd” to launch such a draconian attack in response to the law.

The Prime Minister said any retaliation involving tariffs on UK goods would be a “gross and dirty reaction” and insisted the new law was needed to save the peace process.

Legislation introduced by the UK government will rule out most controls on goods crossing Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as remove the role of the European Court of Justice in overseeing the measure and empower ministers to modify VAT rates in the province.

In response to allegations of violating EU law, government lawyers said the changes were legal under the doctrine of “necessity” because the 2019 Brexit deal poses a “serious and imminent” threat. for peace and stability in Northern Ireland.

Downing Street legislation will raise further tensions within the Conservative Party, as it leaves open the possibility of mitigation if an agreement is reached between the EU and the UK on the current Protocol.

Washington warns Britain

Washington also warned the United Kingdom not to violate international law, as a senior US congressman called on Western governments to stay united against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

European sources told The Telegraph on Monday that Sefcovic will restart a frozen legal dispute, as well as launch two new infringement cases against Britain, in response to the bill.

The existing legal complaint was opened in March last year when former Brexit minister Lord Frost unilaterally extended the grace periods of a series of controls on goods crossing between Britain and Northern Ireland.

The two new complaints will focus on further breaches of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, a source said, in relation to the Northern Ireland Protocol bill.

Sefcovic, the EU’s Brexit chief, said: “As a first step, the commission will consider continuing the infringement proceedings against the UK government in March 2021.”

The top Eurocrat also insisted that the EU renegotiate the text of the protocol to address the concerns of Northern Ireland and Britain.

“EU inflexibility”

A senior government source told The Telegraph that this position “demonstrates a point about the inflexibility of the EU”.

In a call with Mrs Truss, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged the UK to continue in “good faith” to protect the Good Friday peace agreement.

And US MP Brendan Boyle accused Britain of violating international law: “With the war spreading on European soil, this is a time when Western allies must be fully united.”

Trade talks between the United States and the United Kingdom will continue

The White House said the prospects for a potential future trade agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom would not be affected by the development of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “No, I don’t think so.”

Trade talks later this month between the US and the UK in Boston would not be affected either. He said the US acknowledged that there had been “challenges” with the Northern Ireland Protocol.

He added: “We welcome the provisions of the EU-UK Cooperation and Trade Agreement and the Northern Ireland Protocol as a way of managing the practical challenges of preserving different EU and UK markets. at the same time preventing the return of customs infrastructure to the land.

“We recognize that there have been challenges to the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

“We urge the UK and the EU to return to talks to resolve these differences. We support a strong and close partnership between the EU and the UK.

“Transatlantic peace, security and prosperity are best served by a strong UK and a strong EU and the closest possible partnership between the two.”

U.S. and United Kingdom trade officials will meet in Boston on June 22.

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