EU will choose UK fishing industry for heaviest sanction if Article 16 is triggered, Boris warned | Politics | New
UK Brexit Minister Lord Frost argued that the Northern Ireland protocol simply was not working and wanted large parts of the post-Brexit trade mechanism to be overhauled or completely destroyed. But the EU categorically rejected those demands, instead offering the UK a set of proposals that ultimately fell far short of their demands. The two sides continued to be locked into talks, with the weekly meetings between Lord Frost and European Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic having so far failed to find a breakthrough.
The repeated failure of negotiations has led Lord Frost to continue to threaten the triggering of Article 16 of the protocol – which could see the deal completely torn apart.
However, the EU has warned that it will retaliate with vengeance if such a move is made, raising fears that a potentially destructive trade war is imminent.
Alistair Jones, associate professor of politics at De Montfort University in Leicester, has warned that the EU may be able to absorb the impact of any trade dispute much better than the UK.
He told Express.co.uk: “Some EU member states have negligible trade with the UK and won’t see much of a difference.
“The EU will be better in size.
“They will be able to find alternatives to products of British origin within the EU, at a much lower cost than the UK trying to do the same.”
But Professor Jones warned that the UK fishing industry, which is increasingly frustrated with the Brexit deal reached with the EU, would feel the full force of any sanction from Brussels.
He said that although the industry makes only a small contribution to the UK’s total GDP, it is of considerable importance and “many companies could go bankrupt”.
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“The fishing industry, which has already been hammered by the deal brokered by the Johnson government, is going to take a second beating.
“Significant parts of it – especially direct sales – may fall back. It will spill over into other parts of the economy.”
Barrie Deas, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organizations, the body representing fishermen in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, admitted the UK fishing industry was concerned about the consequences the triggering of Article 16.
But he insisted the impact would be felt strongly on both sides of the Channel.
Mr Deas told Express.co.uk: ‘Yes of course we are concerned about the consequences for the trade in fish and shellfish in the EU market, but the consequences would affect all companies in the chain. supply.
“Many companies in the supply chain on both sides of the Channel depend on the supply of raw materials from UK waters.
“If there is no trade deal, it seems to us that the fishing elements of the ATT would also be at risk, although there are likely several steps in the process.
“Escalating trade retaliation, or the application of zero tolerance, would have negative consequences for both sides.”