‘Stop running to court!’ Britons lash out at EU’s ‘childish’ legal action over Brexit move

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Earlier this month, Britain announced it was going to extend grace periods that would relax procedures and checks on British supermarket suppliers and businesses trading in Northern Ireland until October. This has created a new trade border with Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, which the European Commission said breached international law. But the UK said changing the grace period is “temporary…lawful and part of a progressive and good-faith implementation of the Northern Ireland protocol”.

However, EU Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic has now warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a month to back down or he will face being taken to the European Court of Justice for going back on his commitments to the 2019 Withdrawal Agreement.

Express.co.uk readers quickly reacted with fury over the EU’s legal move.

One wrote: “Did anyone tell the EU we left their club over 15 months ago?

“It’s all a bit much.”

Another added: “A better option would be to tear up the protocol and deal then declare to the world that we will not impose a border in either the Irish sea or across Ireland.

“If the EU wants to protect their precious market then let them find a solution.”

A third person said: “Northern Ireland is part of the UK not the EU. See you in court EU.”

A fourth reader did not hold back as they ripped into the EU for using its own courts, which would most likely make a decision in the bloc’s favour.

They said: “The childish EU goes running to its bias EU courts yet again, with bias judges who will always side with it no matter what.”

The EU’s legal attack on Britain could result in multi-million-pound fines or trade sanctions on goods.

Mr Sefcovic said the legal action was made because the UK had “undermined trust” by making decisions without the bloc.

He said: “The EU and the UK agreed the protocol together.

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“We are also bound to implement it together. Unilateral decisions and international law violations by the UK defeat its purpose and undermine trust between us.

“The UK must properly implement it if we are to achieve our objectives. That is why we are launching legal action.”

However, a UK spokesman responded the move did not “warrant legal action”.

He said: “Low key operational measures like these are well precedented and common in the early days of major international treaties.

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“In some areas, the EU also seems to need time to implement the detail of our agreements.

“This is a normal process when implementing new treaties and not something that should warrant legal action.

“All sides need to keep in mind the fact that the Protocol depends on cross-community consent and confidence if it is to work.

“We look to continue discussing the issues in a constructive fashion.”

Separate talks between Mr Sefcovic and UK Brexit negotiator Lord David Frost are expected to take place before the end of the month with the aim of finding a compromise.

An EU official said: “We are willing to discuss these matters, and stand ready to do so.

“The first step would be for the UK to tell us exactly what they intend to do, and when, in order to implement the protocol in full.

“This is a second violation of international law on the same issue.

“We think that is an enormous problem because there are real-life issues behind all of this.”

They added: “The UK must stop acting unilaterally, and stop violating the rules it has signed up to.

“What we need in order to implement the protocol is mutual trust and this kind of unilateral action that we see from the UK does not build trust.”

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