The European Union has warned the UK that it is running out of “patience” and that it could end up imposing tariffs if the British side does not implement the commitments of the Brexi relating to North Ireland, at the end of a bilateral meeting that has concluded without agreement.
The two parties have been cited for examine your current discrepancies, which revolve mainly around the doubts that London now raises in relation to the protocol that it once accepted for Northern Ireland, according to which this territory benefits from a differentiated access to the EU by having a land border with Ireland.
“We are at a crossroads in our relationship with the UK”, has warned in a public appearance the vice president of the European Comission Responsible for monitoring compliance with the Brexit agreement, Maros Sefcovic, at the end of a failed meeting in London with British Minister David Frost, who also monitors the current framework of relations.
For the community block, “patience is coming to an end”, which in practical terms could result in the suspension of cooperation in certain sectors or the imposition of tariffs if London continues to make decisions unilaterally. “It is not too late,” he wanted to clarify below.
Thus, despite the announcement, when asked for more details about the possibility of tariffs, the Community Vice President has clarified that this type of decision “is not taken lightly” and that Brussels is not a friend of unilateral measures. “We do not have a timetable or a package of measures planned because we continue to think that there may be a solution”, has said.
The European Commission has already opened a sanctioning file and, despite the fact that Brussels has given London more time to respond, the British still do not give in. Sefcovic recalled that Community legislation provides for a second notice to resolve disputes, but that ultimately the case could be referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
London defends its “frankness”
Frost hopes to find one short-term “pragmatic” solution, given that on June 30 the grace period for which the entry of products from the island of Great Britain to Northern Ireland continues to expire without complying with the controls established in the divorce agreement. Past this day, processed products will be banned because the EU will not be able to certify their safety, which is why some British media are already talking about the ‘sausage war’.
The community part hopes to regain the “confidence” lost and the British stresses that, although “there have been no achievements”, there is no “break” that prevents further talking in the coming weeks. Frost has insisted that the Northern Ireland protocol remains a “problem” and that London has been “quite frank” about it on Wednesday.
The issue is expected to also reach the G7 summit in Cornwall, which will be attended by Frost himself. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, will hold bilateral meetings with EU leaders and also with the President of the United States, Joe Biden, who also does not hide his concern in relation to the open crisis after Brexit.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.