The European Union’s patience with Britain over Brexit is “wearing thin” and the bloc is considering its options if Number 10 continues on a “confrontational path”, an official has claimed.
The European Commission and British government are set to enter talks over the Brexit agreement and the Northern Ireland protocol on Wednesday.
The EU has entered into legal action with Downing Street over its unilateral move to extend the grace period over post-Brexit arrangements, with the Commission arguing that the failure to implement the protocol undermines trust.
Now an official, who declined to be named, has warned that if Britain does not cooperate on the agreed arrangements it will take further action.
“The EU has been patient but the EU’s patience is wearing thin. If this continues, we will have to consider all the tools, all the options that are available,” they told the Reuters news agency.
The lack of cooperation over the protocol is set to be raised by US president Joe Biden this week during a meeting with Boris Johnson.
He will warn that a US trade deal hinges on the success of the arrangements, and will warn the government it must not undermine the Good Friday Agreement.
Lord Frost said the government had “underestimated” the impact the Northern Ireland Protocol, which he helped to negotiate as part of the initial Brexit deal, would have on the region.
He has called on the European Union to forgo “legal purism” and instead embrace “pragmatic solutions” to help resolve the difficulties related to the protocol.
He said the end result had been “political turbulence” and “real world impacts on lives and livelihoods”.