İrem UZUN -TDO- According to a document seen by Bloomberg, the European Union is studying the possibility of legal action against the U.K. over Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plans to breach the agreement governing Britain’s exit from the bloc.
The U.K. government outlined on Wednesday how it plans to manage trade following its full breakup from the EU at the end of the year with two significant announcements. Firstly, it proposed legislation, called the Internal Market Bill, which gives the U.K. government stronger powers over trade rules in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - something lawmakers in these countries have issue with. Secondly, the government said the U.K. would not follow EU rules for state aid - a key stumbling block in the negotiations with Europe to date. Instead, it will apply state aid rules agreed at the World Trade Organization level, which are less strict. The proposed legislation has to be approved by the U.K. Parliament before becoming law.
However, in the Withdrawal Agreement, the U.K. agreed that state aid given by the U.K. government above a certain threshold that would impact trade between Northern Ireland and the rest of the EU would have to be approved by the European Commission.
As a result, law experts, politicians and even a member of the U.K. government have said that the Internal Market Bill, if approved by U.K. lawmakers, would break international law. The clash on Thursday followed an EU demand that Boris Johnson drop his plans within three weeks or face financial or trade sanctions, after the bloc’s lawyers concluded that Britain had already breached the withdrawal agreement by tabling the controversial internal market bill.