Brexit: Germany wants 'swift and decisive action' says Katya Adler
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The European Union is bound to launch infringement proceedings for the second time against Boris Johnson’s Government, should the UK move ahead with its threat to scrap parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol as part of the Brexit deal. In response, EU’s Brexit Commissioner Maros Sefcovic said the EU will not renegotiate the Protocol and will take legal action, saying: “Our reaction to unilateral action by the UK will reflect that aim and will be proportionate.” BBC’s political editor Katya Adler suggested some countries are pressuring the Commission to take “swift action” against Brexit Britain.
Speaking on BBC’s Newscast, Ms Adler detailed how the EU’s legal action could shape up: “I think you’ve got countries like Germany who want swift and decisive action.
“Basically, send a message to the UK that this is not acceptable. And so, the EU is looking to restart legal proceedings against the UK that it had frozen in order to try and give the negotiations a chance.
“And those legal proceedings were aimed at what the EU views as breaches of the protocol.
“So, when the UK hasn’t carried out, you know, checks that the EU thinks are necessary for example whether it’s on travelling pets or parcels or you know, all sorts of goods.
“Those are frozen. And the EU is going to look at restarting those proceedings and possibly starting new ones as well.
“But of course, this is linked to current action between the two sides on the protocol.”
BBC’s Adler said: “This legal action on the part of the EU – I’m trying to make this not as complicated – but basically, this is legal action about what’s already going on on the ground.
“It’s linked but it’s not because of that actual wording of the proposed legislation today because the EU of course can’t take legal action on something that’s not yet law.
“So, it’s trying to send a message but t’s not actually about the wording we’ve heard specifically today.”
Joining his call is Germany’s Olaf Scholz who echoed Commissioner Sefcovic in saying: “It’s a rejection of all we the agreement we reached between the European Union and Great Britain.
“The European Union will react to this as one and it has the whole toolbox at its disposal.”
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss insisted on Tuesday that the EU “simply” has “no reason to take any action”, insisting the changes sought by the UK do not impact the EU or break international law.
In Ireland, the Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin said the only way to solve the Northern Ireland conundrum is through “substantive negotiations.”
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Despite the publication of the bill and Liz Truss’ call to restore the Northern Ireland’s Stormont Assembly “as soon as possible”, the DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has refused to nominate a speaker, which would pave the way for the formation of a government and has called on Westminster to “move forward” with the bill.
Since the Northern Ireland’s May elections, the Northern Ireland Assembly has been in political limbo due to Sir Donald’s decision and the unionists’ concerns over the Irish Sea border.
Liz Truss could face an uphill battle to pass the bill in Parliament as Tory rebels, who voted to oust Boris Johnson in a confidence vote in the prime minister, Lords, and opposition parties have already expressed their opposition to the bill.
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