EU threatens to ban UK food exports if no trade deal agreed

The European Parliament will block any trade deal with the UK if Boris Johnson breaches his Brexit deal, MEPs said today.

Leaders in Brussels said the Prime Minister's UK Internal Market Bill is a 'serious and unacceptable breach of international law' which puts the trade negotiations at risk.

A statement added: 'Should the UK authorities breach - or threaten to breach - the Withdrawal Agreement, through the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill in its current form or in any other way, the European Parliament will under no circumstances ratify any agreement between the EU and the UK.'    

Tensions between Britain and Brussels have grown in recent days after Mr Johnson unveiled plans to tear up parts of the original Brexit divorce deal. 

The EU has given Mr Johnson until the end of the month to withdraw his proposals to override elements of the Withdrawal Agreement, with the bloc threatening legal action if he does not comply.

Brussels has also made clear that the future of trade talks are at risk of collapse if Mr Johnson does not perform a U-turn - but Michael Gove has vowed the Government will not be changing course. 

It comes after the European Union hinted it could ban UK food exports to the bloc if the two sides fail to agree a trade deal by the end of the year. 

Michel Barnier said there were still 'many uncertainties' on the UK's post-Brexit standards regime and that 'more clarity is needed' in order for Brussels to agree to allow British exports of food and livestock to continue.  

Michel Barnier, pictured in London yesterday, has hinted the EU could ban UK food exports into the bloc if the two sides fail to strike a trade deal

Michel Barnier, pictured in London yesterday, has hinted the EU could ban UK food exports into the bloc if the two sides fail to strike a trade deal

Tensions between the UK and the EU have increased in recent days after Boris Johnson said he intends to override parts of the Brexit divorce deal

Tensions between the UK and the EU have increased in recent days after Boris Johnson said he intends to override parts of the Brexit divorce deal

Trade talks between the UK and Brussels remain ongoing ahead of the end of the transition period in December.  

But Mr Johnson is facing a rebellion of up to 30 Tory MPs who want to give Parliament the ability to veto any attempt by the premier to depart from the divorce accord.

The scale of the Tory backlash to his plans has prompted the PM to invite every Conservative MP to a mass private Zoom call this evening when he will answer questions in a bid to assuage rising levels of anger. 

Meanwhile, Gordon Brown today said Mr Johnson's plans represented a 'huge act of self harm'.

The former prime minister argued the Government's strategy appears to be based on a belief that a 'desperate' EU will eventually back down but he said such a belief is 'wrong' and that the bloc is actually more likely to dig in. 

The row over the PM's Brexit plans came as International Trade Secretary Liz Truss announced a free trade agreement between the UK and Japan has been secured in principle.   

UK strikes first post-Brexit trade deal with Japan

Ministers have been urged to 'redouble' their efforts to secure a post-Brexit free trade deal with the EU after the Government announced it had secured an agreement with Japan.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said it was a 'historic moment' for the two countries which will bring 'new wins' for British businesses.

But Labour said it was important to put the deal in 'perspective', stressing that even though the agreement was 'welcome', the net benefit would amount to just 0.07 per cent of UK GDP.

The agreement comes as hopes of a trade deal between the UK and EU hang in the balance after Brussels demanded the UK abandons plans to override key elements of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Shadow international trade secretary Emily Thornberry said: 'Trade with Japan represented 2.21 per cent of our global total last year, and under the best case scenario put forward by the Government, today's agreement will see that total increase by just 0.07 percentage points each year, simply maintaining the levels of growth seen since 2015, and preserving the forecast benefits of the current EU-Japan agreement.

'That all compares to the 47 per cent of our global trade that we currently have with the EU.

'So, necessary as this agreement is, the Government's overriding priority has to be securing the oven-ready deal that they promised us with Europe, which Japanese companies like Nissan have told us is crucial to the future of the investment and jobs they bring to Britain.'

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said the deal was 'undoubtedly a cause for celebration' but that securing a free trade agreement with the EU 'remains critical to the future of businesses in the UK'.

Advertisement

Ms Truss said it is Britain's first major deal as an independent trading nation and it

read more from dailymail.....

PREV U.S. airlines isolated in bid to scrap change fees forever
NEXT Four Navy aircrew parachute to safety moments before E-2C Hawkeye plane crashes ...