World Here’s How EU Could Take Brexit Legal Action Against the U.K.
Scottish distillery looks to history to lift spirits
It has survived world wars, Prohibition and The Great Depression but this may very well be the toughest time yet for Scotland's oldest whisky maker. The Glenturret Distillery, located on the banks of the River Turret two miles (3.2 kilometres) northwest of the town of Crieff, was established in 1763 and is a popular stop for whisky enthusiasts. Apart from the rushing river and a distiller rolling oak barrels into a filling house, The Glenturret, which closed to visitors during the Covid-19 lockdown, is eerily quiet.Travel restrictions that came with the pandemic have caused sales to fall at the distillery, in pubs and restaurants, and at airport duty-free shops.
(Bloomberg) -- The European Commission is preparing to take legal action against the British government in coming days over its failure to keep promises it made in the Brexit deal to keep the island of Ireland free of border checkpoints.
Here’s what what the EU is planning to do:
Start an ‘infringement’ case
Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, the U.K. remains subject to rulings by the European Court of Justice, so the commission can start an infringement procedure against Britain as if it were still a member of the bloc.
Northern Irish loyalist paramilitaries withdraw support for 1998 peace deal: Belfast Telegraph
Northern Irish loyalist paramilitaries withdraw support for 1998 peace deal: Belfast TelegraphLONDON (Reuters) - Northern Irish loyalist paramilitary organisations told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson they are temporarily withdrawing support for the 1998 peace agreement due to concerns over the Brexit deal, the Belfast Telegraph reported.
The process can take as long as three years, but can be sped up. After months of formal back and forth, the EU court can ultimately issue a ruling that would be binding on Britain. The ECJ could impose financial penalties on the U.K. if it ignores the decision.
It’s this route that the commission took in October 2020 when Britain’s proposed Internal Market bill looked like giving the government unilateral powers to suspend parts of the Protocol. This action was ended in December after the sides reached a compromise.
Invoke the dispute-resolution mechanism
The second course of action makes use of the dispute resolution mechanism in the Brexit deal. The EU would accuse the U.K. of not acting in “good faith” as the two sides committed to do in their agreements.
Pro-UK militants in N.Ireland renounce peace deal after Brexit
Pro-UK paramilitaries say they are abandoning support for Northern Ireland's 1998 peace deal because of a post-Brexit trading pact that has provoked crisis between London and Brussels. The LCC represents three militant groups that were responsible for many deaths during 30 years of conflict between pro-UK unionists and pro-Irish republicans, before the peace was sealed in 1998. The council emphasised that unionist opposition to the Brexit deal's Northern Ireland Protocol should remain "peaceful and democratic".
This again is a drawn-out process that eventually sees a five-member arbitration panel set up. The panel can take as long as a year to issue a binding ruling. Again, any questions of interpretation of EU law would be sent to the ECJ.
If the U.K. didn’t comply with the arbitration panel’s decision, a financial penalty could be imposed. And if that wasn’t paid, the EU could suspend parts of the Brexit divorce deal -- as well as the trade deal signed in December. That could mean trade tariffs would be imposed.
In the meantime, the EU might face a dilemma in how it conducts checks on goods that could be moved into the single market via Northern Ireland.
Why has it come to this?
Under the Brexit deal, Northern Ireland stayed in the EU’s customs union and some of the single market. This prevented the need for border checks on the island of Ireland, which was a condition for a wider Brexit deal -- but introduced them on goods coming into Northern Ireland from Great Britain.
It’s always been an uneasy compromise, disliked by the U.K. government and unionists in Northern Ireland.
Last month, the government said it would unilaterally waive customs paperwork on food entering Northern Ireland until October, beyond the April 1 deadline it had agreed. The EU said it was a violation of the treaty.
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Northern Ireland's peace deal under threat unless EU changes Brexit deal, loyalists warn .
Northern Ireland's peace deal under threat unless EU changes Brexit deal, loyalists warnThe 1998 peace deal, known as the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement, ended three decades of violence between mostly Catholic nationalists fighting for a united Ireland and mostly Protestant unionists, or loyalists, who want Northern Ireland to stay part of the United Kingdom.