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EU begins legal action against UK over trade row

Brussels, June 15 (UNI): The European Union on Wednesday began legal proceedings against the UK over its failure to implement parts of the post-Brexit deal.

According to CNN, the British government published plans earlier this week to change the Northern Ireland Protocol, the part of the deal designed to keep the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland open and avoid a return to sectarian violence.

In response, the European Commission said that it has launched the infringement proceeding as the UK failed to implement the agreement “despite repeated calls”.

Meanwhile, PM Boris Johnson-led government argued that the agreement needs to be “fixed” to avoid “burdensome customs processes, inflexible regulation, tax and spend discrepancies and democratic governance issues”.

However, the EU said any renegotiation of the protocol was “unrealistic” and changing it would be considered a breach of an international agreement, which could bring in fines.

Marcos Sefcovic, the European Commission Vice-President, said: “Let there be no doubt: there is no legal nor political justification whatsoever for unilaterally changing an international agreement. Opening the door to unilaterally changing an international agreement is a breach of international law as well. “So let’s call a spade a spade: this is illegal.”

The agreement was put in place to safeguard the Good Friday Agreement, which helped end years of deadly sectarian violence and which mandates that there should be no hard border between the Republic of Ireland, which is part of the EU, and Northern Ireland, which has left the EU alongside the rest of the UK, CNN reported.

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