Posted on Jun 09, 2021
The EU has warned the UK not to take any further unilateral action to delay post-Brexit checks on products entering Northern Ireland from Britain.
The warning came from European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic, who warned that the EU "will not be shy in reacting swiftly, firmly and resolutely to ensure that the UK abides by its international law obligations".
It comes as the two sides prepare to meet to assess possible simplifications of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
The protocol is the part of the 2019 Brexit deal that created a trade border in the Irish Sea, in order to prevent goods checks along the Irish land border, keeping Northern Ireland in the EU single market for goods and ensuring EU customs rules are enforced at its ports.
It was agreed that the checks would be phased in through the use of so-called "grace periods", however earlier this year the UK unilaterally extended and enhanced some of these grace periods, prompting the EU to commence legal action.
The next phase of new controls, affecting chilled meat products like sausages and mince, are due to begin next month after the grace period overseeing them ends.
By July 1st, the products will be prohibited from moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, or the grace period will be extended either by agreement or unilaterally by the UK.
In an article for the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Mr Sefcovic writes: 'If the UK takes further unilateral action over the coming weeks, the EU will not be shy in reacting swiftly, firmly and resolutely to ensure that the UK abides by its international law obligations."
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