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The European commission has confirmed that it has launched legal action against the UK for breaching the Northern Ireland protocol. In a news release about its move, it says this is “the second time in the space of six months that the UK government is set to breach international law”.
Maroš Šefčovič, the commission vice president, said that by acting unilaterally and violating international law, the UK was undermining trust. In a statement he said:
The protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland is the only way to protect the Good Friday (Belfast) agreement and to preserve peace and stability, while avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland and maintaining the integrity of the EU single market.
The EU and the UK agreed the protocol together. We are also bound to implement it together. Unilateral decisions and international law violations by the UK defeat its very purpose and undermine trust between us. The UK must properly implement it if we are to achieve our objectives. That is why we are launching legal action today.
Sky News has just broadcast an interview that Boris Johnson gave this morning on a visit to the West Midlands, where he was promoting his £3bn bus investment strategy. (See 12.18pm.) Here are the main points.
The fundamental issue that we have to address, as a country and as a society, as a government, is that women must feel that when they make serious complaints about violence, about assault, that they are properly heard and properly addressed. And we’re going to make sure that that happens …
Women have got to feel that, when they make a complaint, when they go to the police with an account or an allegation of violence, they will be taken seriously. So our teams are meeting tonight to discuss what more we can do.