The EU has expressed its anger over the backing given by MPs for legislation overriding post-Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland by launching a further four legal cases against the UK government.
The claims concern past failures to implement the 2019 deal agreed with Boris Johnson but the EU has been spurred to act by the passage through parliament of a bill that would rip up current arrangements.
On Wednesday, the Northern Ireland protocol bill cleared the House of Commons at its third reading – the final stage in the Commons – by 267 votes to 195, and will arrive at the Lords in the autumn.
The four new legal cases – which cite a failure to enforce EU customs and VAT, and excise rules – come on top of three other cases already in motion that are heading to judgment by the European court of justice.
The EU court has the power to impose multimillion-euro daily fines on the UK and its judgments could be the first step towards the bloc taking punitive action through mechanisms within the Brexit deals.
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