‘EU seems deaf!’ Brussels shamed as Brexit chief lashes out with legal warning

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Tory peer Lord Moylan reacted furiously after top Eurocrat Maros Sefcovic vowed to “step up” legal action against Brexit Britain if grace periods over the protocol remained unsolved. He slammed the EU for demanding the UK implement the Withdrawal Agreement in full – something which threatens to drag Northern Ireland back to the dark days of the Troubles.

Tory peer Lord Moylan replied: “It’s hard to think what volume level HMG (Her Majesty’s Government) has to go to to convey to the EU that we are not going to align with their laws.

“They seem deaf.”

Conservative activist Aaron Rankin was equally scathing.

He wrote: “Fine, sue us in your kangaroo court, we’ll ignore it. You could take us to the WTO (World Trade Organisation) but they’d laugh at your pitiful case.

“Also there’s a world of difference between alignment and equivalence so we will get hung up on it as we’ve told you countless times the former is unacceptable.”

They reacted after Mr Sefvovic told a discussion on EU-UK ties: “Unfortunately, the unilateral measures the UK government took in March contradicted this spirit of joint action and clearly violated what we had agreed.

“In response, we were forced to launch an infringement procedure and without satisfactory steps by the UK to remedy these measures we will have no choice but to step up these legal proceedings.”

The Brexit deal thrashed out between the UK and EU at the 11th hour in December 2019 was not without controversy.

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Both sides were keen to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland – a key part of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement which ended the Troubles.

In doing so the province was effectively kept in the EU’s Single Market – which meant customs checks began on some goods travelling to and from mainland UK.

This situation has outraged Northern Ireland’s Unionist community – who claim it threatens their British identity.

Cities across the province including Belfast and Londonderry have since experienced rioting as protests turned violent.

Brussels has been accused of paying little heed to this and Mr Sefcovic is the latest in a long line of politicians to share their views on the protocol.

Ireland’s Foreign Minister sparked outrage last week when he claimed the UK Government wants to “dismantle” the agreement rather than “build trust” with Brussels.

Simon Coveney spoke after two UK ministers asked for Brussels to work with the UK to find a “new balance” which satisfied all parties.

He claimed their comments were a “very strange way to make friends and build a partnership” after the EU had offered concessions.

He told RTE’s This Week: “This is a week when the EU has moved, has shown generosity, has responded to requests from the British Government and from leaders in Northern Ireland.

“And at the same time, the British Government shows no generosity at all, in terms of even acknowledging that there were advances this week that could build trust and relationships.”

He added: “Many in the EU are interpreting the UK’s response as essentially saying: ‘Look, concessions don’t matter. What is required now is to dismantle elements of the protocol piece by piece.’”

“That is going to cause huge problems.”

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