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Northern Ireland: Commission launches infringement proceedings against the UK

June 15, 2022

11:47

The European Commission is launching new infringement procedures against London for failing to comply with the protocol which governs the status of Northern Ireland.

The British government presented its bill to Parliament on Monday calling into question the post-Brexit status of Northern Ireland. The text should allowunilaterally ignore parts of the protocol which governs the special status of Northern Ireland after Brexit. The Europeans considered this text illegal.

This Wednesday, the European Commission announced that it was opening two new infringement procedures against the United Kingdom for non-compliance with the protocol over Northern Ireland. Another procedure was already underway.

The British province no longer belongs to the EU, but it is still part of the European single market and customs union. This arrangement is meant keep the peace in Northern Ireland. But, due to practical problems, it causes dissatisfaction both in the region itself and in Britain.

“Trust is earned by respecting international obligations”, says European Commissioner Maros Sefcovic.

Maros Sefcovic

Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of interinstitutional relations



Non-compliance with the law

For the Commission, London’s persistent refusal to apply the protocol correctly constitutes a violation of international law. “Trust is earned by respecting international obligations”, says European Commissioner Maros Sefcovic. “The violation of international agreements is not acceptable.” The Commissioner recalls that only negotiations under the protocol, which has been approved by both London and Brussels, can help find solutions to the problems.

The Commission is therefore relaunching infringement proceedings against London and in starts two new. These actions can lead to sanctions via the Court of Justice of the European Union.

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