The European Parliament is expected to ratify the post-Brexit EU-UK trade deal, amid tensions including a French threat of reprisals against the UK.
The Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) has been operating provisionally since January and is expected to be ratified by MEPs later on Tuesday.
French Europe Minister Clément Beaune accused the UK of blocking fishing rights. He said the EU could respond with “reprisals” in financial services.
The TCA covers EU-UK trade in goods.
It means goods – but not services – can be traded free of tariffs or quotas. The UK economy is dominated by services.
The TCA has still resulted in more paperwork, extra costs and less trade between the two sides, since the UK left the EU.
There are tensions over the UK’s unilateral decision to ease trading rules for Northern Ireland.
Under a separate protocol, Northern Ireland remains de facto part of the EU’s single market, so goods arriving there from Britain have to undergo EU checks. Since Brexit there has been some disruption to that trade.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU was determined to resolve those difficulties with the UK.
“We need solutions, not soundbites, if we are to make the protocol work for the benefit of everyone in Northern Ireland,” she said. Source: BBC