The European Union launched a legal case against the United Kingdom on Thursday for a breach of the good faith articles in the Withdrawal Agreement. The action is due to the UK’s new Internal Market Bill that undercuts the British government’s earlier legal commitments as part of the agreement, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. London has one month in which to respond to the formal letter of complaint submitted by the Commission. The EU’s executive branch will then assess the answer before considering further action. If the Commission deems the response to be unsatisfactory it then has the option of suing at the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice. Von der Leyen said it was "the first step in an infringement procedure." A draft "letter of formal notice" has been finalized, meaning legal action is imminent.
Last month the UK government admitted that in trying to rewrite its EU divorce treaty it would be breaking international law. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposed bill would disregard parts of the accord he signed back in January. The section of the agreement in question deals with trade between Ireland and the UK. The EU has previously warned that the move from the UK government could have serious consequences, and on Thursday those repercussions took a step closer to becoming a reality.
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