Relations between Brussels and London have improved since the two sides reached an agreement in February on the controversial Northern Ireland protocol; But new British legislation to repeal European Union (EU) law could create new tensions.
The UK government plans to repeal or replace hundreds of EU laws in its legislation. Repeal and Reform ActBrussels warned it could have a “negative impact on trade”.
“We are following this process very vigilantly,” European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič said at the annual EU-UK Forum conference on Monday.
“I understand that a large part of the public watching this conference would like to see more free trade with less friction and less complications, but that’s very difficult to achieve if the decision is to create more differences. Or, the legal framework we’re putting together is based on some of the foundations of the Withdrawal Agreement and TCA. . [Acordo de Comércio e Cooperação UE-Reino Unido] Thrown away,” said Maroz Cefkovic
“We’re talking about it with our UK counterparts, so we’ll see how it all plays out, but as I said, if we’re in a situation where there’s more disagreement, clearly there will be more. Sanctions and that will have an impact. It will be negative on trade,” he added.
Hundreds of EU laws are at stake
The British bill aims to repeal or replace some EU laws that have been maintained since the end of the “divorce” from the EU three years ago. The Act is a sort of “cushion” to provide legal certainty and continuity in relations with the EU after Brexit, after 40 years of the UK’s stay in the Community.
Boris Johnson’s government pushed the plan ahead with a provision that would see thousands of EU laws automatically expire on December 31, 2023. However, the clause was suppressed by the new administration led by current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. , emphasizes the need to maintain legal certainty.
More than a thousand EU laws have been repealed or reformed, and the government has published a list of another 600 EU laws that could be followed under this bill, and another 500 under two other bills – the Financial Services and Markets Bill and the Public Procurement Bill.
The move comes months after Brussels and London finally reached an agreement to resolve tensions over the Northern Ireland protocol and move goods between Great Britain, Northern Ireland (the island province of Ireland under British sovereignty) and the Republic of Ireland (Ireland). Member of the European Union) through simplified customs rules.
The “Windsor Framework” was hailed as “historic” and “a new chapter” for EU-UK relations and led to a thaw in relations between the two capitals.
It was also a way to develop a united front in support of Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion and common challenges, including the energy crisis and rising inflation.
The European Union is “a very valuable ally and friend
Šefčovič emphasized that any new deviation from EU law, restrictions and additional documentation should be followed to ensure that any imports comply with its provisions.
“It’s not something that makes life easier for business people,” he said.
“We understand that the UK is a sovereign country and we respect the decision to leave the EU and, of course, the UK is governed by its own laws in our commercial and economic relations,” he added.
British Foreign Secretary James wisely did not address the trade issue in his speech to Monday’s conference.
“For me, the priority is to further strengthen the relationship between the UK and the EU based on the results of the historic Windsor Treaty,” he said in a pre-recorded video, describing the EU as a “very valuable ally”. and friend”..
“I wish to move forward with the same spirit of mutual trust and ambition for our relations and work closely with you in other areas of mutual interest,” he added.
Cooperation on migration was “vital” and energy, science and research, as well as security, were cited as key areas of interest.
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