Boris Johnson news – live: EU will ‘restart legal action’ against Britain over NI protocol

The EU says it will restart legal action against the UK over Boris Johnson’s “damaging” move to rewrite post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland.

Maroš Šefčovič, the EU’s Brexit commissioner, said renegotiating the protocol is “unrealistic”.

“As the first step, the commission will consider continuing the infringement procedure launched against the UK government in March 2021,” he said. “We had put this legal action on hold in September 2021 in the spirit of constructive cooperation to create the space to look for joint solutions. The UK’s unilateral action goes directly against the spirit.”

He told colleagues that EU officials are working on devising a number of retaliatory measures against the move, including drawing up a list of British goods that Brussels could hit with trade tariffs.

The EU is expected to launch three separate lawsuits against Britain, including for failure to conduct checks on agrifoods, and two new “infringement proceedings” for not sharing data or not establishing order posts with the European Commission.

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