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European Court of Justice rules UK breached air pollution rules when it was a EU member


Despite Britain exiting the European Union, the European Court of Justice has upheld a complaint from the European Commission against the UK. The upheld complaint surrounded a feeling that the UK was not obeying air pollution rules whilst it was still a member. 

The judges at the ECJ have ordered Britain to pay the costs for both itself and the EU. As per the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, the EU can still lodge complaints against the UK for historic complaints as long as they occurred before the end of the transition period which was at the end of 2020. 


This upheld complaint against the UK was originally lodged in May 2018 when the Commission signalled it would sue Britain, along with five other current EU member states, as a means of decreasing pollution. The others were Germany, France, Italy, Romania and Hungary. The EU’s Commission accused the UK of failing to deliver “credible, effective and timely measures to reduce pollution as soon as possible, as required under EU law”.

Having analysed the Brexit deal, it says on ECJ jurisdiction: “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. The Court of Justice of the European Union shall continue to have jurisdiction to give preliminary rulings on requests from courts and tribunals of the United Kingdom made before the end of the transition period”. 

This latest row and ruling, is unlikely to do any favours to the EU and UK’s fractious relationship, especially given the current tensions around Article 16 and the Irish protocol.

This content was sourced from Unity News Network.


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