The European Union has warned the UK that it is running out of “patience” and that it could end up levying tariffs if the UK fails to honor Brexit commitments on Northern Ireland, at the end of a bilateral meeting that ended without Deal.
The two parties have met to investigate their current disagreements, mainly related to the doubts London is now raising about the protocol once accepted for Northern Ireland that this area benefits from differentiated access to the EU to a Land to have border with Ireland.
“We are at a crossroads in our relations with Great Britain,” warned the European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic, who is responsible for monitoring compliance with the Brexit Agreement, in a public appearance at the end of a failed meeting in London with British Minister David Frost, who also monitors the current relationship framework.
For the EU bloc, “patience is over”, which could practically result in a suspension of cooperation in certain sectors or the imposition of tariffs if London continues to make unilateral decisions. “It’s not too late,” he wanted to clarify below.
For example, despite the announcement, in response to the question of further details on the possibility of tariffs, the Community Vice-President made it clear that this type of decision is “not taken lightly” and that Brussels is not in favor of unilateral action. “We have neither a roadmap nor a planned package of measures because we still assume that there could be a solution,” he said.
The European Commission has already opened a sanctions dossier and although Brussels has given London more time to respond, the British are still not giving in. Sefcovic recalled that Community law provides for a second communication to resolve differences, but that the case could ultimately be referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Frost hopes to find a “pragmatic” solution in the short term, as the grace period expires on June 30th, for which products from the island of Great Britain continue to reach Northern Ireland without complying with the established controls in the divorce agreement. After that day, processed products will be banned because the EU cannot certify their safety, which is why some British media are already talking about the “sausage war”.
The community part hopes to regain the lost “trust”, and the British emphasize that although “there has been no success”, there is no “break” that prevents further talks in the coming weeks. Frost has insisted that the Northern Ireland Protocol remains a “problem” and that London was “fairly open” on Wednesday.
The issue is also to be reached at the G7 summit in Cornwall, which Frost will attend in person. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold bilateral meetings with EU heads of state and government as well as with the President of the United States, Joe Biden, who also does not hide his concerns about the open crisis after Brexit.