Tensions between the European Union and the United Kingdom continued to rise on Thursday and Friday.

On Wednesday, the British decided on their own to extend the period in which British companies do not pay import duties on goods entering Northern Ireland.

That shot Brussels in the wrong direction, because the EU was not informed about the decision.

Since January, Northern Ireland has ceased to be a member of the EU, but the country remained part of the European customs union to avoid a hard border on the Irish island.

This means that Northern Ireland must comply with European rules with regard to, among other things, food safety.

And so products shipped from Great Britain to Northern Ireland have to be checked.

In order to ensure a smooth transition to the new situation, it was agreed not to strictly enforce the new rules until the end of March.

The British decided on Wednesday to extend that period to October, without discussing this with the EU.

According to the EU, the British have violated international law for the second time, Brussels is now considering legal action.

"If we cannot trust the British because they are taking unilateral action, then London will leave the EU no choice," said Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney.

The possible course to the right shot the Northern Irish in the wrong way.

"The EU is only interested in protecting its trading bloc. It is not interested in protecting the Good Friday Agreement, as the EU claims," ​​said Northern Ireland's unionist prime minister Arlene Foster.

"If the EU was interested in peace, it wouldn't take these legal steps now."

The so-called Northern Ireland Protocol was created precisely to keep the Good Friday Agreement in place.

Years of conflict in Northern Ireland came to an end with the 1998 agreement.

And with the protocol, both sides hope to avoid a hard border and possible post-Brexit escalations on the Irish island.