Brexit fury as EU unleashes legal action against UK for failing to comply with hated deal

Four new infringement procedures were triggered by the European Commission today amid the ongoing row over the Northern Ireland Protocol. Brussels officials said it was forced into the action after the UK demonstrated it was unwilling to take part in “meaningful discussion” on the treaty for more than a year.

The Commission also today took further issue with the UK Government’s Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, which ministers hoped could help to settle the row.

When announcing the bill, Liz Truss said a negotiated settlement remained her and the Cabinet’s “preference”.

But Brussels today said it has seen no efforts for any such agreement to be reached.

The European Commission said in a statement: “Despite repeated calls by the European Parliament, the 27 EU Member States and the European Commission to implement the Protocol, the UK Government has failed to do so.

“In a spirit of constructive cooperation, the commission refrained from launching certain infringement procedures for over a year to create the space to look for joint solutions with the UK.

“However, the UK’s unwillingness to engage in meaningful discussion since last February and the continued passage of the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill through the UK Parliament go directly against this spirit.”

The new infringement procedures relate to claims the UK has failed to comply with customs requirements and other rules.

These come on top of other procedures launched on June 15.

READ MORE: Sneering Remoaners blame Brexit for Dover Port chaos

The action came after reports earlier this week revealed the EU is preparing to act tougher on the next UK prime minister.

Senior officials told the Telegraph they would prefer to restart talks with a fresh face rather than with Liz Truss, who has been running negotiations since former Brexit Minister Lord Frost left his post.

One said: “Of course we’re not expecting the UK’s approach to the protocol to change overnight.”

The paper reported that Brussels is hoping the next Tory leader will want to reach an agreement quick in order to claim a victory when heading into the next general election.

Former Brexit Party MEP Ben Habib has, however, insisted the Government ought to stand up, not back down to the EU.

He told Express.co.uk that any “pressure put on it not to with the Protocol” must be “ignored”.

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