The EU has reportedly threatened the UK with economic, agricultural and trade sanctions if ministers refuse to back down from their plans to abandon parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, APA reports citing Sputnik.
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier hinted that the bloc could ban imports of British food and livestock when the transition period ends.
Recently, Barnier said that the UK government had “not engaged” on issues of “fundamental” importance to the EU and claimed that that there were still “many uncertainties” about the UK’s new food standards that could lead the EU to ban all imports of UK produce starting from 1 January.
“More clarity is needed for the EU to do the assessment for the third-country listing of the UK,” he said, as quoted by The Times.
“The UK is refusing to include indispensable guarantees of fair competition in our future agreement, while requesting free access to our market. We are still missing important guarantees on non-regression from social, environmental, labour and climate standards,” he added.
In turn, UK lead Brexit trade talks negotiator Lord David Frost denied that Britain was to blame for the deadlock.
“We have been consistently clear from the start of this process about the basis on which agreement is possible between us,” he said.
The differences still remain on such areas as access to markets and dispute settlement mechanisms, he said, adding that the UK must offer the EU guarantees and clarity on many issues.