Just last week, European Council President Charles Michel took a swipe at the UK over its threats to renege on parts of the EU withdrawal treaty it signed in January. Now, repercussions are becoming reality.
The European Union launched a legal case against the United Kingdom on Thursday for a “breach of the good faith articles in the Withdrawal Agreement.”
The action is due to the UK’s new Internal Market Bill that undercuts the British government’s earlier legal commitments as part of the agreement, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.
“We had invited our British friends to remove the problematic parts of their draft Internal Market Bill by the end of September,” von der Leyen said. “The deadline lapsed yesterday.”
London has one month in which to respond to the formal letter of complaint submitted by the Commission. The EU’s executive branch will then assess the answer before considering further action.
If the Commission deems the response to be unsatisfactory it then has the option of suing at the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice.
Von der Leyen said it was “the first step in an infringement procedure.” A draft “letter of formal notice” has been finalized, meaning legal action is imminent.