EU can’t afford to pick fight with UK report warns

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The EU will regret picking a fight with Britain given the £2.35 trillion worth of goods the bloc has sold to the UK in the last ten years a new report warns.

The report says a trade war would put the jobs of hundreds of thousands of EU citizens at risk, with Germany, the Netherlands and France the most at risk from the fallout.

Report author David Evans at Facts4EU used figures from the Office for National Statistics in 2019 (the last year unaffected by the coronavirus pandemic) to look at the value of goods sold to Britain over the course of the last decade by individual member states.

Germany, which Mr Evans said habitually refers to the UK as “Treasure Island,” is well out in front with £65.6 billion worth of goods sold to the UK, followed by the Netherlands on £42.9 billion and France on £31.4 billion.

The report points out the EU sells 52 percent more to the UK than it buys, and has enjoyed a trade surplus of £808 billion.

Mr Evans adds:

“The largest goods exporter to the UK has always been Germany, by far the EU’s largest economy.

“For Germany, the largest single product group it sells to the UK is of course motor vehicles, particularly cars.

“It is Germany’s car industry which is particularly suffering, due to supply chain difficulties and other factors.

“(One of these is the shortage of HGV drivers in that country – not something readers are likely to hear about on the BBC.) 

“For Germany the motor industry is a significant part of the economy, representing 10 percent of GDP.”

Brexit minister Lord David Frost and EU counterpart Maros Sefcovic met on Friday in a bid to thrash out a solution to the problems swirling around the Northern Ireland Protocol, which furious Unionist critics claim has resulted in a border down the Irish Sea

Mr Evans says:

“No one yet knows for certain how the negotiations between Lord Frost and EU Commission Vice-President Sefcovic will end up.

“However, being seasoned observers of the EU seven days-a-week for many years, we would be simply staggered if the EU were to acquiesce to the perfectly reasonable proposals laid out by Lord Frost in his Command Paper sent to the EU in July.”

Mr Evans explains:

“Faced with incontrovertible evidence that the Northern Ireland Protocol is not working, the Commission had no real choice but to offer some concessions.

“As Lord Frost has made clear, these do not go nearly far enough.”

Nevertheless, with Lord Frost widely believed to be ready to trigger Article 16, thus suspending the protocol, Mr Evans saw no prospect of any compromise from Brussels. He said:

“For the EU to accede to the changes needed for the Protocol would – in our view – be politically and ideologically impossible for them. Apart from anything else, they are immensely proud of the way in which they got Theresa May to accept the broad principle that the price of Brexit would be to lose, de facto, Northern Ireland. In this, it must be said, they had the willing cooperation of a large number of anti-democratic MPs in the UK who refused to accept the decision of the people in the largest democratic vote in British history.”

“Lord Frost has been clear that profound changes must be made in order to preserve the peace and the constitutional integrity of Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom. The case for invoking Article 16 is beyond doubt. If the EU make no significant moves this week or next, as we expect, then it is becoming hard to see how the British Government can fail to act.”

The report concludes saying:

“Our report above shows what the citizens of the EU have at stake in the event that the EU apparatchiks start the opening moves in a trade war. We would like to think that businesses and general public opinion might pressure the EU Commission to reconsider. Sadly, that’s not how the EU works.

“Nevertheless, our question for the ideologues in Brussels is simple:

“Do you really want to pick a fight with your second-largest market in the World?”

If so, and in the words of the old song, “There may be trouble ahead.”

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