David Jones, the former Brexit secretary, said: “The EU has always wanted to punish the UK for daring to exercise its treaty right to leave' Photo: Eddie Mulholland
The 2018 ruling found that the UK had failed to comply with an EU ban on the use of red diesel, which is taxed at 5 per cent, on private pleasure craft such as boats or yachts.< /p>< p>The rule change forces boat owners to use white diesel, which attracts the full fuel tax and VAT rate of 20 percent.
The UK argued it needed more time to enforce the diktat because it would result in the coronavirus pandemic and the 2019 general election.
The laws governing the use of marine fuel in Northern Ireland did not change in accordance with the dictates of Brussels until October 2021.
Original legal document The case was brought against the UK in 2020, although the post-Brexit transition period was still in effect.
The EU Court of Justice said the rule applied to the whole of the UK for almost three years from the original decision, insisting on the fact that it can only apply to Northern Ireland, since Brexit only came into full force in January 2021.
The EU Court of Justice also said that the rule applied to the whole of the UK for almost three years from the original decision. said it increased the fine because the UK took so long to comply with the 2018 decision.
The Luxembourg court's advocate general had previously recommended a fine of 17 million euros for the violation. Judges traditionally follow their advice, although it is not mandatory.
Using NI as a “lever”
Brexiteers said the decision was a sign that Brussels would continue to use Northern Ireland as leverage to stop Britain flouting EU rules.
David Jones, a former Brexit minister, said: “The attitude is , as it has always been. The EU has always wanted to punish the UK for daring to exercise its treaty right to withdraw. NI is the EU's continuing influence across the UK. She is using that leverage and will continue to do so until we take steps to break it.
“It just highlights that the Windsor Framework is a huge ball and chain that doesn't allow the whole UK to deviate from EU regulation. . It needs to be reviewed.”
The UK Government said: “Ultimately this is a historic case that began while the UK was a member of the EU. Now we're gone.
“We have since secured the world's largest zero tariff and zero quota deal with the EU and are now focused on using our post-Brexit freedoms for the benefit of the British public.”