UK wants more time to respond to EU’s Brexit protocol legal action

LONDON — U.K. ministers have asked for more time to respond to legal action from the European Union over its alleged breach of the Northern Ireland protocol. Brussels launched proceedings after the U.K. government delayed the introduction of new sea border checks on food, parcels and pets without EU agreement. The request reportedly came in two letters […]

UK wants more time to respond to EU’s Brexit protocol legal action

LONDON — U.K. ministers have asked for more time to respond to legal action from the European Union over its alleged breach of the Northern Ireland protocol.

Brussels launched proceedings after the U.K. government delayed the introduction of new sea border checks on food, parcels and pets without EU agreement.

The request reportedly came in two letters from the U.K.’s Cabinet Office Minister David Frost. A U.K. official confirmed more time had been requested.

Frost will meet European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, his counterpart on the joint committee set up to oversee the Brexit agreement, in Brussels tomorrow.

EU commission spokesman Daniel Ferrie said on Twitter the meeting would be “informal” and would “take stock of ongoing technical work on the Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland and to provide a political steer for both teams on outstanding issues.”

Officials in London said the meeting was a “staging post,” and part of the “wider process” on the Northern Ireland protocol.

A U.K. government spokesperson said: “In line with precedent that typically allows two months to respond to proceedings of this kind, we have agreed with the EU that we will respond to the Letter of Formal Notice by mid-May.  We’ve been clear that the measures we have taken are lawful and part of a progressive and good faith implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.”

This article was updated to include a quote from the U.K. government.