Although the Brussels ultimatum to London expires this week, British government It remains unclear whether it intends to withdraw the most controversial elements of the internal market law that violate the withdrawal agreement negotiated, agreed and ratified by the European Union and the United Kingdom. “I have not received any indication that they are going to do it” so “we are considering all the legal options we have,” the vice president of the European Commission explained this Monday. Maros Sefcovic, after his encounter with the number two of the British Government, Michael Gove, in the mixed committee to monitor the divorce agreement.
Despite the ultimatum from Brussels, Gove has warned that the British Government has no intention of giving in or backing down on his plans. “These clauses are a safety net and will remain in the law. We want to make sure the withdrawal agreement is fully implemented” but “the clauses are in the legislation, supported by the House of Commons, as a safety net. if it is needed, and they will continue in the law “, has settled the British conservative during a brief intervention in the Skynews chain after his encounter with Sefcovic.
The Slovakian politician has taken advantage of the appointment to insist on the need to withdraw the chapters that violate the divorce agreement because, if adopted as it has been proposed, “it would constitute a serious violation of protocol (from Ireland), which is an essential part of the withdrawal agreement and a international law“That cannot be changed unilaterally or simply not applied. Even so, it has not clarified whether they will adopt” legal measures “if they do not comply with this Wednesday, September 30. “I have reminded the British Government that the withdrawal agreement contains a number of mechanisms and legal measures to respond to a violation of the legal obligations of the agreement” and “the EU will not hesitate to use them,” he added without specifying when or how. they will.
Less than 100 days
In any case, Brussels has insisted that time is short and there is “to accelerate and ensure full, timely and effective implementation of the withdrawal agreement” because, with less than 100 days to cut the last moorings with London, there is still “a lot of work ahead “and important questions to clarify. To begin with, the EU has doubts about the British scheme designed to manage the new residence permits. “In practice it distinguishes between different categories of European citizens with the same residence status. It undermines legal certainty and also affects rights,” he warned, warning that the consequence would be that some citizens could benefit from aid and others not.
Controls are also of great concern after the expiration of the transitional period on January 1, 2021. Under the withdrawal agreement and to prevent the return of a hard border on the island of Ireland, the UK is obliged to carry out checks on all goods entering from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. The problem is that the implementation of the infrastructures and technologies necessary progress too slowly. “The window of opportunity to adopt the operational measures necessary for the operation is closing,” said Sefcovic, who has suggested a meeting in early October of the special committee in charge of this matter. “I have reiterated the urgent need for the United Kingdom to speed up work on all aspects of the protocol and particularly on sanitary and phytosanitary controls, systems of technologies and controls and the registration of merchants in Northern Ireland in relation to VAT “.
Despite the lack of progress in this area, this Tuesday talks are resumed in Brussels in what will be the ninth round of negotiations, the last projected so far, and that will last until Friday. Although the British government has set mid-October as the deadline to reach an agreement on the future trade agreement, the limited progress in terms of state aid, competition or fishing suggests in Brussels that the negotiations could last until the end of October or early November. “We still do not know what the landing zone may be. The next few weeks will be decisive for the final result,” warned the German MEP and coordinator of the European Parliament. David McAllister.