UK government to rely on ‘force majeure’ argument in NI Protocol dispute
The UK government has reportedly told the European Commission that it has unilaterally breached the Northern Ireland Protocol because of circumstances beyond its control.
In a 20-page letter in response to EU legal proceedings, the UK has suggested that it will rely on force majeure to explain its implementation of the Brexit deal, according to RTÉ News.
The European Commission issued a formal notice in March following the UK’s decision to unilaterally extend grace periods which helped with the implementation of protocol, beginning an infringement procedure.
The letter sent by the UK in response reportedly criticises the EU’s resort to legal proceedings instead of “political dialogue” and suggests that the Covid-19 pandemic contributed to the UK’s failure to fully implement the agreement.
The European Commission will decide its response in the coming weeks, which could include formal infringement proceedings at the European Court of Justice (ECJ).