Britons furious as EU punishes UK over clean air breach ‘almost smell their desperation’
Brexit: Steve Barclay says government will ‘defend the UK’
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The European Court of Justice upheld a complaint from the European Commission that the UK was not obeying air pollution rules while it was still a member. Its Luxembourg-based judges ordered Britain to pay the costs for both itself and the EU and could have ordered Britain to pay multimillion pound fines as a result of the dispute.
Wow! You can almost smell their desperation
But their decision, reported by Express.co.uk, has left many readers enraged.
One said: “Wow! You can almost smell their desperation.”
Another reader said: “If the EU was so dedicated to cleaning the air, how come the German carmakers were so happy to lie about auto emissions? Double standards I suspect. Ignore them!”
Another said: “It’s only the EU trying to impress its members. Same old EU, not a problem any more.”
Another said: “EU judges are bunch of foreign jumped-up, second-rate solicitors in red frocks.”
One angry reader said: “Thank God we have left. Boris just needs to go onto WTO rules and forget about the Withdrawal Agreement – tear it up.”
And another said: “Just because the agreement says they CAN take action, there is nothing saying we have to take any notice.”
Under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, Brussels can still take action against the UK for historic complaints – if the alleged breaches were made before the end of the transition period at the end of last year.
READ MORE Brexit LIVE: German MEP orders Boris Johnson to obey EU rules
In May 2018, the Commission signalled it would sue Britain – and five other member states – in order to decrease pollution.
Germany, France, Italy, Romania and Hungary were also included in the legal challenge.
It was said the UK had failed meet limits set on nitrogen oxide and particulate matter, which are caused by road traffic, industry, heating and agriculture.
At the time, the EU sent out warning letters to each member state to demand immediate changes before the legal challenge was escalated to the ECJ.
The Commission said the UK had failed to deliver “credible, effective and timely measures to reduce pollution as soon as possible, as required under EU law”.
Toxic air results in more than 400,000 early deaths across Europe each year.
Britain may have left the EU but Boris Johnson still under the cosh for any legal action against the UK brought by the bloc while it was still a member.
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The Brexit deal states: “The Court of Justice of the European Union shall continue to have jurisdiction in any proceedings brought by or against the United Kingdom before the end of the transition period.
“Such jurisdiction shall apply to all stages of proceedings, including appeal proceedings before the Court of Justice and proceedings before the General Court where the case is referred back to the General Court.”
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