EUs action is humiliating! Brexiteer savages absurd chief Sefcovic after legal threat
Andrew Marr grills Maroš Šefčovič over 'absurd' rule
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And the former Brexit Party MEP, speaking in response to the latest strongly worded statement from European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic, warned Prime Minister Boris Johnson he must take a stand to protect the very fabric of the United Kingdom. Speaking earlier, Mr Sefvocic, the bloc’s point man when it comes to Brexit, accused the UK of violating the agreement by unilaterally extending the grace period for goods travelling between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Furthermore, he said the EU was ready to launch an “infringement procedure” if London did not fall into line.
The Northern Ireland Protocol is the mechanism agreed between the UK and the EU to prevent a hard border on the island of Ireland.
However, Unionist critics say it has instead resulted in a border down the Irish Sea by tying Northern Ireland to EU rules and regulations, and hence driving a wedge between them and the rest of the UK.
Mr Habib, a staunch critic of the Protocol whose own legal challenge aimed at toppling it ended in failure at the High Court of Northern Ireland on June 30, was less than impressed.
He told Express.co.uk: “It is absurd that Sefcovic is legitimately able to accuse the UK of bad faith simply because we seek to transfer goods freely within our own country. But this is the absurdity of the Protocol.
“By signing us into it, Westminster has broken the United Kingdom.
“We have a foreign power in dictatorial charge of part of our country.
“It is the ultimate in political weakness and constitutional self-harm.”
With respect to the role played by Mr Johnson, whom he called on to resign earlier this year over his handling of the situation, Mr Habib said: “The Prime Minister repeatedly says he will not hesitate to take definite action to protect our Union but he takes none.
”Instead, it is the EU which is taking legal action against the UK.
“Their action is as contemptuous as it is humiliating.”
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He asked: “At what point will our government realise there is nothing reasonable to be agreed with the EU?
“The solution is simple. It lies not in dealing with the EU but in unilateral British action: repudiate the Protocol and leave open the border on the island of Ireland.
“The value of trade between Northern Ireland and Ireland is a rounding error in our trade figures.
“If the Irish then put in place customs checks it would be them breaching the Belfast Agreement.
“Ditch the Protocol and ignore the border.”
Speaking earlier, Mr Sefvovic told a discussion on EU-UK ties: “Unfortunately, the unilateral measures the UK government took in March contradicted this spirit of joint action and clearly violated what we had agreed.
“In response, we were forced to launch an infringement procedure and without satisfactory steps by the UK to remedy these measures we will have no choice but to step up these legal proceedings.”
Mr Sefvocic said a longer-term solution to avoid Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) checks for agri-food products, ranging from live animals to fresh meat and plant products, could be along the lines of an agreement the EU has with Switzerland.
That pact removes nearly all physical SPS checks, though not documentary checks, and achieves this through a dynamic regulatory mechanism that creates a Common Veterinary Area.
He added: “This could be negotiated very quickly and would address many concerns.
“The UK continuing to apply EU SPS rules will do away with a vast majority of the checks in the Irish Sea and would not require checks elsewhere, say in Northern Ireland.”
Mr Sefcovic said he was aware of the British government’s concerns about such a solution, but insisted it was important “not to get too caught up” with concerns about alignment of rules and regulations between Britain and the EU.
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