European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic said the bloc is ready to take “retaliatory measures” after talks over the post-Brexit plans to avoid a hard border ended without a breakthrough.
The Brussels diplomat insisted EU chiefs would not be “shy in reacting swiftly, firmly and resolutely” to ensure the Prime Minister sticks to the terms of his Brexit divorce deal.
Speaking to reporters in London, Mr Sefcovic added: “Our patience really is wearing very very thin therefore we have to assess all options we have at our disposal. Legal action, arbitration, and of course I’m talking about cross-retaliation. We do not want this to happen.
“If it comes to the cross-retaliation… If you look through the agreement it’s pretty obvious it could be the suspension of the cooperation in certain sectors, it could mean if you continue to have persistent problems of implementation of the deals we have signed also the quota tariffs could come into the place but all these measures have been put into the TCA because we just wanted to be sure if something goes wrong, if we don’t live up to the agreement which we have signed then there are also cross-retaliatory measures, which we all hoped and thought we would never ever even consider so now I’m very sorry we are at this situation.”