European Commission Deputy Chairman Maros Sefcovic will travel to London Thursday for emergency Brexit talks in the wake of publication of a bill that allows violation of the agreement between Brussels and London, EC spokesman Eric Mamer said in his Twitter Wednesday.
"Following today’s announcement by the UK, [EC Deputy Chairman Maros Sefcovic] will travel to London tomorrow […] for an extraordinary meeting of the Joint Committee. The EU seeks clarifications from the UK on the full and timely implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement," Mamer tweeted.
A source in the European Commission told Reuters that the UK bill contradicts the Withdrawal Agreement, approved by both sides, in particular regarding the status of Northern Ireland after the exit is complete, TASS reports.
The Joint Committee has been established specifically to oversee the Brexit agreement implementation. It held two scheduled meetings previously.
On Wednesday, the UK government presented a bill on internal markets, which is supposed to regulate trade relations between the parts of the United Kingdom after the Brexit transition period that ends on December 31, 2020. The document states directly that some of its clauses will have effect despite its contradiction or incompatibility with the international law.
The bill refers primarily to one of the main Brexit agreement clauses - the status of the Northern Ireland as a part of the UK customs space which also enjoys access to the EU single market and customs zone.
The new bill has already been condemned not only by the EU, bot also by Wales and Scotland, who accuse London of centralization of power; the bill has also been criticized by some members of the ruling Conservative party, who warn about the damage it will cause to the UK’s reputation on the international arena.