Friday, 30 Jul 2021

Barnier issues threat to Brexit Britain over competing ‘It’s in their interest to behave’

Brexit: It is in UK's 'best interest to behave' says Barnier

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The EU’s former chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has insisted the UK must behave if it wishes to have a good trading relationship with the EU. While speaking to Euro News’ Christophe Garach, Mr Barnier highlighted the importance of a level playing field and good trade links between the UK and EU. He highlighted that Britain sells almost 50 percent of its exports to the EU so it would be beneficial to have a good trade relationship.

He also added the EU must behave properly as well to ensure both partners can benefit.

Mr Barnier said: “We must be vigilant, like I said, we knew the British leaving the single market and EU they wanted to regain their regulatory autonomy.

“What are they doing with that? Are they managing it properly by controlling things?

“Or are they using it as a social dumping tool against us?

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“We will not accept, social, fiscal, or environmental dumping because the UK, which is a very large country right next to us, touches the European Union in Ireland, they are the one with whom we have the most trade in the world.

“This is when compared to Canada, US, and Japan.

“We trade the most with the UK because we were in the same market.”

Mr Barnier continued: “Let me remind you that the British export 47 percent of their products to us and we export 8 percent of our European products to the UK.

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“It is in their interest to behave properly.

“We have to behave properly as well to avoid these issues of unfair competition.

“We have to look for a level playing field.”

The issues surrounding goods flowing from mainland UK to Northern Ireland and then into Ireland have remained a contentious point for both the EU and Britain. 

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EU Brexit chief Maros Sefcovic has warned against legal action if these issues are not resolved.

The European Commission vice-president said: “Trust is essential for any constructive relationship, but to build trust in each other as partners require first working together cooperatively and refraining from surprises in the form of unilateral actions.

“Unfortunately, the unilateral measures the UK Government took in March contradicted this much-needed spirit of joint action and clearly violated what we agreed.

“In response, we were forced to launch an infringement procedure and without satisfactory steps by the UK to remedy these measures, we’re going to have no choice but to step up these legal proceedings.”

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