EU ‘simply cannot trust’ UK after latest NI protocol breach, says Irish FM

If the UK insists on taking unilateral action and refuses to stick to the agreement, then the EU has no choice but to take legal action, said Coveney. [EPA-EFE/FILIP SINGER]

The EU “simply cannot trust” the UK after its latest breach of the Northern Ireland protocol, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told RTE Radio 1 in reference to the UK extending the grace period for stricter border checks on the Irish Sea to October, instead of implementing them this month as agreed.

If the UK insists on taking unilateral action and refuses to stick to the agreement, then the EU has no choice but to take legal action, said Coveney. 

“It’s not what we want, but it is where the UK is driving us,” said the foreign minister, adding that “if the UK cannot be trusted because they took unilateral action, they leave the EU with no option.” 

The EU and UK agreement means certain goods are checked when they pass through the UK and Northern Ireland. This method has been met with criticism by unionists and conservatives in the UK. 

EU Commissioner for Financial Services, Mairead McGuinness weighed in on the same programme, calling the UK’s behaviour inappropriate.

“We’re trying to resolve a problem we didn’t create, it was caused by Brexit,” she said.

(Paula Kenny | EURACTIV.com)

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