Hastily arranged Brexit talks will take place on Thursday after the EU reacted strongly to Boris Johnson’s move to override key parts of the Withdrawal Agreement break with Brussels
The emergency trip was scheduled after it emerged the UK has proposed legislation to override parts of the Withdrawal Agreement. A spokesman for the commission said: “The EU seeks clarifications from the UK on the full and timely implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement.”
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the move to amend the Withdrawal Agreement signed last year would “break international law and undermine trust” between the two sides.
Within minutes of the Bill’s publication, Ms Von der Leyen said: “Very concerned about announcements from the British Government on its intentions to breach the Withdrawal Agreement.
“This would break international law and undermines trust.
“Pacta sunt servanda equals the foundation of prosperous future relations.”
It was then when Mr Sefcovic called for an urgent showdown with Mr Gove.
Mr Sefcovic and Mr Gove had a phone conversation where tensions escalated.
He said: “I expressed our strong concerns and sought assurances that the UK will fully and timely comply with the Withdrawal Agreement, including the Protocol on Northern Ireland.”
“I made it very clear to him that the Withdrawal Agreement is not open for renegotiation.
“The Joint Committee is there for assuring proper and timely implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, not renegotiating it. I have to reiterate this again.”
He added Downing Street was “fully aware what the lack of respect for the signed ratified treaties might mean for the future”.
“This is a matter of principle. Of course it has direct implications on the talks about our future.”