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Brussels launches infringement operations against the United Kingdom

The European Commission announced on Monday that it would open a breach of the Brexit agreement with the United Kingdom for unilaterally extending the agreed period for a specific tariff measure for Northern Ireland.

Brussels is sending a “formal notification letter” to London this Monday – the first step in the violation process – for violating a specific protocol on the island of Ireland, including the withdrawal or Brexit agreement signed at the end of 2019, including Northern Ireland’s protocol, European sources said.


At the same time, Maros Chefkovic, vice-president of the European Commission’s international constitutional relations and in charge of overseeing Brexit, will send a “political letter” to the new head of the British government, David Frost, on relations with the European Union, so that it can “rectify” the situation and relocate to the North Avoids “violating the commitment to good faith.”

On March 3, unilaterally and surprisingly, the British government announced on April 1 that it would not apply tariffs and border restrictions on goods coming from Great Britain and Northern Ireland into the British province, regardless of the agreement. They are for six months until October 1st.

The “firm and quiet” answer

Fifteen days after the expiration of the “grace period” with London, Brussels opens two parallel channels, eleven months after signing the withdrawal agreement, which ended on 31 December, in line with the new situation in its third country.

Brussels is also taking this step after Chefkovic received support last week from twenty-seven ambassadors, while other European sources told EFE that Brussels’ response would be “firm and calm”, “with the intention of seeing” all options “and” keep talking “.

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“Quick corrective action”

The commission has decided to send a “formal notice” to London, urging it to “take immediate remedial action” for violating the specific protocol in Northern Ireland, despite the UK’s exit from the EU as the British province remains part of the European domestic market.

The source recalled that this was an “imaginary” solution to avoid a border between the two Irelands, to secure the Good Friday Peace Accord signed in 1998, and to facilitate life in Northern Ireland.

Courts on the horizon

This letter, which must be responded to within a maximum of one month, is the first step in a “violation procedure” that will end before the European Court of Justice (CJEU), which may impose fines or penalties. Forcing, the European official says, could have “significant consequences.”

As for the “political letter”, sources said its function was to “encourage dialogue” between the two parties to find “sustainable and predictable solutions” within the framework of the withdrawal agreement and the protocol attached to the island of Ireland. .

“Willingness to speak”

They pointed out that the United Kingdom has not yet sent its “road map”, which “clearly” explains how it intends to use the aforementioned protocol in Northern Ireland.

“We are ready to talk and the UK needs to let us know what their intentions are for the protocol to be fully implemented,” they added.


There is also a dispute resolution mechanism in the withdrawal or Brexit agreement if any party violates the obligation of “good faith” provided for in it.

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First, the responsibility for ensuring the proper use of the withdrawal agreement must be resolved in the Mixed Commission, and if it does not function, a “Arbitration Committee” may be asked to resolve the dispute.

Two procedures within six months

For its part, the European Parliament has already postponed twice the sessions of the full session to ratify the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the United Kingdom, which was reached on Christmas Eve 2020, in which the Association of Sites for Relationships outside the community.

This is the second time in six months that Brussels has opened a breach of action against England. On October 1 last year, the social administrator initiated action against London for a bill that violated the agreement on British withdrawal from the EU, which has not progressed since it was finally withdrawn.