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The EU has renewed its threat of legal action against the UK over its plans to override parts of the Brexit deal on Northern Ireland. Maros Sefcovic, the EU commissioner in charge of the implementation of last year’s withdrawal agreement, claims teams in Brussels are “studying all legal options on the table” if the UK failed to back down. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has set a deadline of the end of this month for the UK to scrap provisions in its Internal Market Bill that would empower ministers to ignore the compromises aimed at preventing a hard border on the island of Ireland.
The UK plans, defended by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a safeguard against unreasonable behaviour by Brussels, cover key economic issues such as the application of EU state-aid rules in Northern Ireland and the certification of exports travelling from the region to Great Britain.
Mr Sefcovic said: “The bill as it currently stands violates the letter and the spirit of the withdrawal agreement.”
The EU official was speaking after a meeting of EU ministers in Brussels where France urged the European Commission to explore all avenues for countering the UK move, including going to the European Court of Justice.
While it is true that if Mr Johnson does not back down Britain would essentially break international law, unearthed reports suggest the EU is also guilty of not respecting the law.
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk earlier this year, former Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan claimed that in Brussels almost every time, immunity is upheld when it is a federalist but when it is a eurosceptic, immunity is removed.
He said: “They make up the rules as they go along.
“There is no objectivity.
“There is no impartiality.”
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Mr Hannan hit out at the bailouts during the European debt crisis, which he claims should have been “utterly illegal”.
He noted: “I don’t just mean that they don’t have legal basis in the European Treaties.
“I mean that they are expressly prohibited.
“It literally says no country should be liable for the debt of any others.
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“This is not some technicality.
“It was only on the basis of that clause that the Germans agreed to join the euro in the first place.
“Yet, the moment it became inconvenient, they ripped it out and did what they wanted.
“That is my single biggest criticism of the EU.”
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