Brexit: UK 'can't decide unilaterally' on protocol says Coveney
When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters.Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer.Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights.You can unsubscribe at any time.
This is the second time political leaders in the EU institution have postponed plans to hold a vote to complete the bloc’s ratification of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. UK-EU relations are currently at a crossroads after Downing Street sparked fury by announcing plans to scrap Brussels red tape for Northern Ireland. A Parliament spokesman said: “Recent developments with the UK don’t provide positive signs for us to agree on a date – there is no need to take a decision now.
“There will be other opportunities to meet and decide before the next plenary session in April.”
The UK-EU future relationship pact entered provisionally into force in January, paving the way to quota and tariff-free trade.
But MEPs still need to rubber-stamp the agreement in what is a ceremonial vote to signal the EU’s approval for it.
Parliamentarians have joined the chorus of Brussels criticism for No10’s decision to unilateral extend grace periods on trade checks on supermarket shipments between mainland Britain and Northern Ireland.
Critics argue that the move is in breach of the Brexit deal’s Northern Ireland Protocol to avoid a hard border.
MEPs could leave their vote to as late as April while they review the row over the region.
Both sides have agreed that the agreement can be provisionally applied until the end of next month.
The period has already been extended once after the EU conceded it would not be able to meet its February 28 deadline to ratify the deal.
Eurocrats wanted more time to translate the Brexit trade deal into the bloc’s more than 20 official languages.
Despite their apparent frustrations at Britain, grandstanding MEPs are expected to back the agreement.
Meanwhile EU countries are exploring ways to keep Britain in line with its post-Brexit commitments.
A tentative move to establish plans to rein in the UK’s more combative approach to the EU since Lord Frost was put in charge of our future relations with the bloc.
MUST READ: Sunak planning bonfire of EU rules
Brussels is already preparing to sue the UK over its move to unilaterally extend grace periods on EU red tape for Northern Ireland.
This could include restricting the City of London’s access to clients in EU markets or rejecting membership of the Lugano Convention on international law.
“We had hoped to maintain a trustful partnership,” a senior EU diplomat told the FT.
“Now it looks like it is going to be a tough and rough relationship for the foreseeable future.”
Europe rocked by third wave as EU vaccine failure stops Covid surge [INSIGHT]
Norway’s brutal EU snub: ‘We will not give them a single crab!’ [ANALYSIS]
Iceland walked out of EU fishing talks: ‘Not willing to share!’ [REVEALED]
EU will 'respect' Brexit decision says Sir John Redwood
The insider added: “Governments are really fed up with the constant provocations. The personality of David Frost certainly doesn’t help.
“If this continues, there will be a response.”
A second diplomat said: “If the UK is not willing to make this relationship work and is seeking to stretch the fabric as much as possible, we might need to resort to other options.
“Hope is fading that the relationship is going to be very successful in short to medium term… the question is how do we prepare ourselves for that.”
Source: Read Full Article