Brexit: Expert expresses concern for fishing industry future
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With UK shellfish banned from being exported to the EU, Westminster has drawn up plans to impose tariffs on goods such as bottled water and potato seed from Europe. Although a good start in the UK’s battle with Brussels, former MEP Patrick O’Flynn urged Boris Johnson to use the emergency powers in the Northern Ireland protocol to strike back at the EU. Article 16 was almost invoked by Brussels in order to stop vaccines produced in Europe passing through to Great Britain from Northern Ireland.
Later revoked, Mr O’Flynn claimed the act showed the true intent of the EU and stated the UK must now retaliate in kind.
Not just to Brussels but to France too given the customs issues experienced on the other side of the Channel.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, he said: “For the rest of us it would constitute a well-merited boff on the nose for the French.
“Not so much a case of ‘Up yours, Delors’ as ‘Go to hell, Emmanuel’.”
The Northern Ireland protocol has been criticised heavily by some as they state it leaves the country isolated from the rest of the UK.
Not only does it enact a split of sorts, but the legislation also leaves Northern Ireland following some of the EU’s single market and customs arrangements.
Amid the economic consequences it has caused combined with the shellfish ban, Mr O’Flynn added: “If the EU elite does not get over its vaccines humiliation, then before too many more weeks have passed, bottled water isn’t going to be the half of it.
“Because if the hypothetical risk of batches of vaccines entering the UK over the Irish border was reason enough for the Commission to trigger the Article 16 emergency brake in the Northern Ireland protocol, then trade impediments that mean British soil literally cannot be imported onto British soil – with all the attendant symbolism surrounding that situation – are reason enough with room to spare for the UK government to do the same.
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“Indeed, the NI protocol explicitly says the Article 16 power can be used if aspects of that protocol are causing ‘economic, societal or environmental difficulties’ and currently it is causing all three.
“It took the UK political establishment far too long to come to terms with Brexit.
“Recent weeks have brought troubling signs that it will take their European equivalents longer still.
“But once again the will of the British people is going to prevail.”
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Despite pressure from the UK, the EU announced the ban on live shellfish imports would now be indefinite.
By doing so, it has crippled some fishermen in the parts of the UK, particularly in the South West of England and Wales.
The produce can only be exported to the EU if it is sent to purification plants.
Due to this provision, some sellers have stopped trade altogether or have had it severely reduced.
It is thought Environment Secretary George Eustice, had planned to meet EU counterparts to discuss lifting the ban but any meeting was cancelled.
The snub by the EU has reportedly thrown Boris Johnson into fury thus sparking the move to place tariffs on certain European products.
The UK Government has maintained it will find a resolution to the matter due to the impact its hard on the matter.
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