“Significant concerns” have been expressed by European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic over Foreign Secretary Liz Truss’ approach to dealing with the Northern Ireland Protocol.
Brussels would retaliate, Mr Sefcovic said, since “unilateral actions are not acceptable.”
He said: “Should the UK decide to move ahead with a bill disapplying constitutive elements of the Protocol as announced today by the UK Government, the EU will need to respond with all measures at its disposal.”
“Our overarching objective is to find joint solutions within the framework of the Protocol.”
“That is the way to ensure legal certainty and predictability for people and businesses in Northern Ireland.”
“With political will and commitment, practical issues arising from the implementation of the protocol in Northern Ireland can be resolved.”
“The European Commission stands ready to continue playing its part, as it has from the outset.”
His remarks came after the EU threatened to retaliate against the UK if it changed sections of its post-Brexit accord with Northern Ireland.
In response to the warnings, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the EU that there is no need for “drama” and that he might not follow some parts of the agreement.
The PM also scoffed at the idea of an EU reaction, calling it “crazy.”
Ms Truss, on the other hand, announced earlier today her intention to withdraw elements of the Northern Ireland Protocol, prompting a retaliatory response from the EU.
During a speech in the House of Commons, Ms Truss claimed the Good Friday Agreement is “under strain” during a speech, adding: “Regrettably, the Northern Ireland Executive has not been fully functioning since early February.”
“This is because the Northern Ireland Protocol does not have the support necessary in one part of the community in Northern Ireland.”
She went on to say that the UK prefers to “reach a negotiated outcome” with the EU, but that the proposed bill is “consistent with our international law obligations.”
“Our aim is to deliver on the Protocol’s objectives,” Ms Truss stated, adding that the new measure is not “about scrapping the Protocol.”