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Rather then looking at the letter of the Treaties, one can look at the bodies that would handle disputes.

The WTO has been scared by the United States' decision in December to block the appointment of two new members to the appellate body. The move has meant that the WTO has not been able to rule on new trade disputes between member countries since then.

Right now the appelate body is being described as a "void":

According to the expert, the EU has taken advantage of the current vulnerability of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism and is trying to avoid responsibility for actions recognized as illegal at the international level, and by using the rules developed with the active participation of the EU.

"The EU's blocking of the results of the dispute on energy adjustments by filing an appeal into the "void" threatens the EU's own achievements in trade cooperation," she noted.

WTO right now also lacks an acting leader:

Trade officials in Geneva on Friday failed to select an acting leader of the World Trade Organization to take over when current Director-General Roberto Azevedo steps down on Aug. 31.

WTO delegates couldn't broker a consensus agreement this week after the U.S. demanded that an American, Alan Wolff, become interim director-general instead of Karl Brauner of Germany.

Apart from the whole matter of WTO schedules and tariffs were UK needs to disentangle from the EU and as far as I know haven't done more then to say that they will be as an EU member for the transitionship period.

by fjallstrom on Thu Sep 10th, 2020 at 10:31:34 AM EST
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So basically the EU can do as it wants and refer any dispute to a non-existent dispute resolution process until such time as it gets the Director-General it wants and the US government agrees the appointment of appeals judges. A lot depends on what happens in the US in November, but right now chaos reigns...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Sep 10th, 2020 at 12:05:00 PM EST
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EU tells UK: drop Brexit plans to break law or face sanctions  - Guardian
According to an EU legal opinion, leaked to the Guardian, the commission believes Johnson's government has already breached the terms of the treaty just by taking the first steps to pass a new law that would negate key parts of the withdrawal agreement signed last year.

"Already by tabling the draft bill and pursuing the policy expressed therein, the UK government is in violation of the good faith obligation under the withdrawal agreement (article 5) because this bill jeopardises the attainment of the objectives of the agreement," the commission lawyers write.

The commission has advised the 27 EU capitals that there are therefore grounds for the bloc to take "legal remedies" through the European court of justice before the end of the transition period, leading to significant fines or potential trade sanctions.

The legal opinion goes on to say that should the legislation actually be adopted it would be in "clear breach of substantive provisions of the protocol" in waiving any export procedures or formalities on the trade of goods from Northern Ireland to Great Britain and in restricting the application of EU state-aid rules in the case of Northern Ireland.

by Bernard on Thu Sep 10th, 2020 at 05:25:12 PM EST
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