The European Union promised legal action on Wednesday after the British government unilaterally extended a grace period for checks on food imports to Northern Ireland, according to Reuters. Brussels said the move violated the terms of Britain’s divorce deal.
Since it left the EU last year, Britain’s relations with the bloc have soured, with both sides accusing the other of acting in bad faith in relation to part of their trade agreement that covers goods movements to Northern Ireland.
The British government extended a grace period for some checks on agricultural and food products imported by retailers to Northern Ireland until October, in a move it said was necessary to ensure the free flow of goods to the British region.
In a statement, the European Union expressed “strong concerns” at a move it said amounted to a violation of the substantive provisions of the Northern Ireland Protocol, the most contentious part of Britain’s divorce deal with the EU.
“This is the second time that the UK government is set to breach international law,” the statement said.