Saturday, November 28, 2020
Home WORLD EU threatens legal action over UK changes to divorce deal

EU threatens legal action over UK changes to divorce deal

The EU has threatened the UK with legal action if it does not ditch a bill to override key parts of the Brexit divorce deal “by the end of the month”.

In a statement following emergency talks between the two sides, the EU said the bill “seriously damaged trust between the EU and the UK”.
The UK government said its Parliament was sovereign and could pass laws which breach the UK’s treaty obligations.
Meanwhile, trade talks between UK and EU officials continue in London.

The source of the EU’s concern is Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposed Internal Market Bill, which was published on Wednesday.
It addresses the Northern Ireland Protocol – an element of the withdrawal agreement designed to prevent a hard border returning to the island of Ireland.
The bill proposes no new checks on goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain. It gives UK ministers powers to modify or “disapply” rules relating to the movement of goods that will come into force from 1 January, if the UK and EU are unable to strike a trade deal.

The publication of the bill prompted emergency talks between Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove and European Commission Vice-President Maros Šefčovič.

Following the discussions, the EU issued a strongly-worded statement warning that the withdrawal agreement was a legal obligation, adding that “neither the EU nor the UK can unilaterally change, clarify, amend, interpret, disregard or disapply the agreement”.
The EU rejected the UK’s arguments that the bill is designed to protect peace in Northern Ireland arguing that “it does the opposite”.
Mr Šefčovič said that if the bill were to be adopted, it would constitute an “extremely serious violation” of the withdrawal agreement and of international law.
He urged the government to withdraw the bill “by the end of the month”, adding that the withdrawal agreement “contains a number of mechanisms and legal remedies to address violations of the legal obligations contained in the text – which the European Union will not be shy in using”.

Issuing its own robust response, the UK government said it would “discharge its treaty obligations in good faith”, but added that “in the difficult and highly exceptional circumstances in which we find ourselves, it is important to remember the fundamental principle of parliamentary sovereignty”.
“Parliament is sovereign as a matter of domestic law and can pass legislation which is in breach of the UK’s treaty obligations. Parliament would not be acting unconstitutionally in enacting such legislation.
“Treaty obligations only become binding to the extent that they are enshrined in domestic legislation. Whether to enact or repeal legislation, and the content of that legislation, is for Parliament and Parliament alone.”
The Internal Market Bill will be formally debated by MPs in Parliament for the first time on Monday, 14 September.

Source:BBCNews.com

Leave a Reply

Most Popular

Dimaensa Named Best Indigenous Caterer In Ghana

Accra based local food outlet Dimaensa Restaurant was adjudged the best indigenous caterer at the 2020 Ghana Arts & Culture Awards held at the...

Ejura: 6 NDC supporters dead, several injured in gory accident

Six supporters of the opposition NDC party have died and several others injured in a bloody accident at Frante, in the Ejura Sekyedumase Municipality...

Election 2020: EC distributes 95% of electoral materials so far

The Electoral Commission (EC) has so far achieved 95 per cent progress with the distribution of electoral materials nationwide ahead of the December 7 polls.The...

Reopening of schools in January 2021 will affect population census – Statistical Service

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has indicated that its plans to carry out the 2021 housing and population census will be affected by the...

Recent Comments