The UK and EU’s Brexit trade deal has done little to quell ill-feeling between London and Brussels. Northern Ireland has been one key issue, with some Conservative MPs already lambasting the protocol which put a border down the Irish Sea. The country has seen import struggles and also violence on the streets recently, and Brussels is threatening legal action over the UK’s decision to delay the full implementation of the protocol. French fishermen also threatened to block ports last month while British fishermen have seen their businesses struggle.
The pandemic has also seen the EU threaten to block vaccine exports to the UK in a move that was widely condemned.
Since January, many in the UK have fumed at the economic challenges created by the new terms as exports struggle to get into Europe.
Miriam González Durántez, an international lawyer and former EU official, has claimed recently that the EU is “taking comfort from how much the UK has lost in the Brexit negotiations.”
Writing for the Financial Times in January, she said the UK has ended up fully opening its market to all EU goods, including agriculture, but has done so in exchange for roughly the same access to the EU services market that the bloc has granted to countries on the other side of the world.
However, the expert warned that the EU will also suffer as a result of the new terms.
She added: “But the UK’s losses in the negotiations are not European wins. They are a blow for the UK, but they damage the EU, too.”
Ms Durantez warned that the EU is still losing one of its major economic players.
Only one EU member state, Denmark, scores better than the UK on the ease of doing business, according to the World Bank’s rankings.
In fact, European companies still find themselves curtailed by multiple barriers in their own single market, the former EU official highlighted.
She advised the EU to respond to Brexit by focussing on improving trade between the remaining 27 member states.
Ms Durantez added: “The conventional wisdom is that, for the EU to prosper, the UK has to fail. But perhaps some challenging competition from the UK is exactly what the EU needs.”
As exports in the UK take a hit, pressure is building to “reopen” the trade deal to try and remedy some of the difficulties.
Meat and seafood, particularly exports by small firms, are paying the highest price for the Brexit deal, and pressure is growing to lighten the burden of paperwork.
German businesses that are used to UK supply are now paying higher costs and looking elsewhere for more reliable partners.
Food standards could also derail the UK’s ongoing trade talks with Australia.
Rejoiners vowed to reverse Brexit: ‘War can still be won’ [INSIGHT]
Brexit sends expats into rage as Britons ‘have to give up being British [ANALYSIS]
EU on brink: German MEP warned UK ‘won’t be last to leave’ [INSIGHT]
Australian broadcaster ABC was reporting recently that the UK Government’s analysis is forecasting a boost in British economic output of a fifth of one percent.
They added, however: “It’s expected the upside for Australia would be considerably greater, with Australian beef and lamb producers hoping for significantly increased access to the UK market.
“But British farmers have been lobbying Westminster to demand all Australian meat imports meet the high environmental and animal welfare standards imposed on local products.
“The National Farmers Union has told the UK government that Australian farmers can take advantage of hormones and veterinary medicines that are banned in Britain.
“Similar concerns have also been raised by the National Sheep Association.”