EU President Says UK Could Be Punished For Brexit Breaches

EU President Ursula Von Der Leyen Says The UK Could Be Punished For Brexit Breaches.

Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Union – speaking as MEPs prepare to consent this evening (Tuesday April 27) to the historic Brexit agreement – has warned Britain that the EU will have no hesitation in punishing the government for what they claim are breaches of the agreement.

The consent vote among MEPs – the result of which is expected to be announced on Wednesday morning, but is thought to be a foregone conclusion – was delayed until April after Brussels had accused Downing Street officials of breaching certain commitments of the Brexit deal after they had extended the grace periods on checks on goods crossing the border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of breaking the agreement on fisheries.

Ms Von Der Leyen told MEPs, “This agreement comes with real teeth with a binding dispute settlement mechanism and the possibility for unilateral remedial measures where necessary, and let me be very clear, we do not want to have to use these tools, but we will not hesitate to use them if necessary.”

She continued, “They are essential to ensure full compliance with the trade and cooperation agreement, and with the withdrawal agreement, which both were negotiated in such fine details and agreed by both sides.”

Adding, “Honourable members, on this point of compliance, I know that there was some reluctance in different parts of the house on whether it is right to ratify this agreement when existing commitments are not being respected by one side. I agree with you that this agreement on paper is only as good as implementation and enforcement in practice.”

Lord Frost, who is Britain’s minister for Brexit affairs is known to have met with the vice-president of the EU, Maroš Šefčovič, over the last few days, to discuss the ongoing Northern Ireland border issues, which the president called “constructive,” but there are still other issues that need resolving, with Clément Beaune, France’s EU affairs minister, today saying he is concerned by the UK’s attitude towards the French fishing industry.

Speaking to the BFM Business channel, Beaune said, “We are asking for the whole deal, nothing but the deal, and for as long as it has not been implemented, we will carry out reprisals in other sectors if it is necessary.”

The EU President added, “We have obviously seen a number of issues arise, some were to be expected, others are teething issues, and many are the consequences of the type of Brexit the UK chose. But regardless of the reasons we need to focus on joint solutions – unilateral decisions will get us nowhere. And this is one of the reasons ratification is so important.”

Concluding, “It will give us the tools we need to ensure full and faithful compliance with the obligations, to which both sides signed up. And it will also focus minds on finding pragmatic solutions where they are needed most urgently around the protocol of Ireland and Northern Ireland,” as reported by

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at