European Council President Charles Michel urged the British government on Sunday to fully implement the agreement on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.
It’s “time for the U.K. Government to take its responsibilities,” Michel said on Twitter on Sunday, following a telephone discussion with Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin.
The government of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday presented a bill in parliament that overrides parts of the withdrawal agreement already signed with the EU. He himself has admitted that the move violates international law, but he still plans to begin discussions on his draft law on Monday in the House of Commons, where he has an 80-seat majority.
“Withdrawal Agreement to be fully implemented. Ensure peace and stability in Ireland,” Mr. Michel tweeted. The “international credibility of the UK’s signature is at stake.”
Following Britain’s formal withdrawal from the EU on 31 January 2020, the two sides began negotiations on future relations in the areas of trade and security. However, the talks have been bogged down for months and agreement on trade, which would help avoid the reintroduction of customs duties, seems all but unattainable.
While discussions aimed at averting a no-deal by 1 January 2021 remain snagged, London is blaming the dispute that soured a new session of negotiations last week on Brussels.
However, European chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Twitter that “the protocol on Northern Ireland is not a threat to the integrity of the UK.”
The final text between the two sides stated that the British province would remain subject to certain EU provisions for four years, but that London could make unilateral trade decisions there.
“We agreed this delicate compromise with Boris Johnson and his government in order to protect peace and stability on the island of Ireland,” wrote Mr. Barnier, who heads the European Commission’s task force on relations with the U.K. “We could not have been clearer about the consequences of Brexit.”