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RTE: EU Could Launch Legal Action After UK Presents NI Protocol Bill


Tony Connelly at RTE tweets on potential EU legal action against the UK following the presentation of the Northern Ireland Protocol bill later today. Much more aggressive rhetoric than has previously been utilised, with expectations that the EU would not launch any action until the NI Protocol bill was on the statute books, or at least more progressed through Parliament. Select comments below:

  • "The EU could take legal action against the UK as soon as Wednesday in response to the bill to overturn the Northern Ireland Protocol, RTE News understands. A forthcoming statement is expected to say that the EU will not renegotiate the Protocol, and will imply that the EU could take retaliatory trade measures against the UK."
  • "The decision to unfreeze infringement proceedings, which were suspended last summer, could be adopted by the European Commission at its weekly meeting on Wednesday, according to diplomats. Those proceedings could be added to, with further legal action announced later in the week."
  • "Sources say the EU will adopt a carrot and stick approach, with the unfreezing of legal action being accompanied by the publication of a “model for the flexible implementation of the protocol based on durable solutions. This would spell out in more detail how the EU proposes to make the Protocol more manageable, based on its proposals published last October."
  • "The statement will say that this will be in the spirit of the EU’s “strong and long standing commitment to businesses and people in Northern Ireland. However, the draft statement also includes an implied threat of trade measures against the UK."
  • "The draft says that the “Commission recalls that the conclusion of the Withdrawal Agreement was a precondition for the negotiation of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. Today's decision by the UK GovT undermines the trust that is necessary for bilateral EU-UK cooperation ...within the framework of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.”

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