The European Union called for an extraordinary meeting in London on Thursday on the controversial bill on the Brexit agreement. A text that violates international law, through British recognition.
Now it’s time for explanations: London is hosting an emergency meeting with the European Union on Thursday 10 September to justify its desire to reverse the Brexit agreement. The British bill, which was published on Wednesday, sowed disagreement in the middle of the final phase of sluggish negotiations on the future relationship between Britain and the 27.
With this text, the British government intends to oppose part of the Brexit agreement that was ratified in January last year and itself acknowledges its intention to violate international law. The decision goes very badly in the eyes of Europeans, who have therefore convened an extraordinary meeting of the Joint Committee responsible for overseeing the application of the text.
European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic arrived in London on Thursday morning to meet with British Foreign Secretary Michael Gove to “seek clarification from the United Kingdom on the full application, and on the expiry date of the withdrawal agreement,” European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said on Twitter.
🇪🇺🇬🇧 Following today’s announcement by the UK, @MarosSefcovic travel to London tomorrow to meet @michaelgove for an extraordinary meeting of the Joint Committee. The EU is seeking clarification from the United Kingdom on the full and speedy implementation of the withdrawal agreement.
– Eric Mamer (@MamerEric) September 9, 2020
This increased tension will block a new session of time trial negotiations with the EU, to be concluded in the coming weeks to define the terms of cooperation, in particular trade and security, between the former partners at the end of a post-Brexit transition period ending in late December. .
Discussions stop, especially stumble upon fishing and the conditions of fair competition, and arouse the fear of a “no deal” destructive of the economy. Time is up, Brussels wants an agreement at the end of October to enable ratification in time. Boris Johnson, for his part, warned that due to a lack of compromise at the European summit on 15 October, he would be happy with a “no deal”.
Possible legal action
“I think the British government needs to take action to restore confidence and reassure European negotiators significantly,” Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said in an interview with the Financial Times on Thursday. “Our colleagues in Europe, especially those leading the negotiations, are now wondering if there is a will to (…) reach an agreement – and this is a serious problem.”
If the UK nevertheless remains and signs, it risks EU action that could lead it to the European Court of Justice, according to a working document from EU ambassadors, seen by AFP.
The Irish border at the heart of the tension
The controversial UK bill on the single market wants to return “in a very specific and limited way”, according to London, on the Northern Ireland Protocol, which defines the customs system in this UK province.
This text aims to ensure the absence of a physical border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, a member of the EU, and to prevent the resurgence of tensions in this region, bloody of three decades of “unrest” until the signing of the Good Friday Agreement on Good Friday 1998.
Return of customs controls raises fears of renewed tensions. It is about “protecting our country from the extreme or irrational interpretation of the protocol, which could lead to a border in the Irish Sea in a way that in my opinion would damage interest in the agreement between Good Friday and harm the peace interests of our country,” the prime minister said. Boris Johnson for MPs on Wednesday.
The British move has given rise to criticism, even within the ruling Conservative camp, including from former heads of government, from Theresa May to John Major. The latter believes that if Britain “lost its reputation for fulfilling (its) promises” it would lose “something invaluable and which we may never find”.
In particular, the maneuver could sabotage the United Kingdom’s negotiations with other countries, especially the United States, with which it intends to secure an ambitious free trade agreement before the end of the year.