Fri Oct 1st, 2021 at 09:12:01 AM EST
The Dutch media is reporting that the European Commission is preparing to punish the UK for its Brexit dealbreaking.
[In Dutch. Shitty Google translate version follows]
The Commission wants a "permanent solution" to the disputes, not short-term arm wrestling. So in mid-October she will come up with new proposals to solve the problems with controls, forms and labeling without changing the protocol. The only UK demand that the Commission will never agree to is to remove the European Court's role as final arbiter on the correct application of EU laws. That is not only impossible under treaty law, but also politically impossible: it would prove Poland right in their attempt to inflate the primacy of EU law.
The Commission knows that it is counterproductive to announce a new ultimatum with a drum roll. London will sit back until the new date is in sight and then - hoping for limp knees at the EU - try to wrestle new concessions. So far that works. Exactly what the Member States did not want - the continual extension of transition periods - is now happening.
Partly for this reason, the Commission has started to privately inform the Member States about harsh sanctions if London still ignores the protocol at the end of this year. This does not only concern the usual lawsuits, but direct trade restrictions (import duties) as well as the denial of British requests to participate in (EU-funded) research programs. Also on the sanctions list: restricting the freedom of British financial services providers to operate in the lucrative European market.
But does the Union have the political courage to push things to a head at the turn of the year? In any case, the Member States will then know what is at stake and what weapons they have at their disposal. "There can be no more surprises," said an EU official.
Will the EU actually follow through though?