What EU wanted! ‘Complaining’ France and Germany told to blame Barnier over Brexit deal

Brexit: UK imports and exports evaluated by expert

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Back in December, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the bloc signed a trade deal that was based on zero tariffs on most goods. However, trade has been disrupted by steep shipping costs, transportation delays as well as stricter customs requirements at the border.

The Office for National Statistics said British exports to the EU within the first three months of this year fell 18.1 percent from the previous quarter.

But imports from the EU were down by 21.7 percent whereas in comparison UK trade with non-EU countries grew slightly within the same period.

For the first time since 1997, the UK imported more in March from outside the EU than within it.

But as French and German exporters seek other markets due to the red tape imposed by Brexit, a Leaver has said it is the bloc’s fault.

Alan Sked, emeritus professor of international history at LSE, said the Brexit deal signed by Boris Johnson and the EU in December was what the bloc and Michel Barnier wanted.

He tweeted: “Those in favour of Brexit willed Britain’s exit from the EU but not the terms.

“Barnier kept telling us that those we wanted amounted to ‘cherry picking’.

“So the final result amounted to what Barnier and the EU deigned to concede.

“Now the French and Germans complain. Blame Barnier!”

Earlier this week, German company Heller – who specialises in making crankshaft machines to mill engines – claimed it takes “twice the time” to deliver goods to its UK factory in Redditch.

Klaus Winkler, chief executive of the company, said: “There is no vaccination against Brexit.

“A lorry travelling from Nürtingen to Redditch takes twice the time and we have to put a lot more hours into all the bureaucracy.

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“It is quite cumbersome.

“We had to increase the stock levels and have maintained them because it hasn’t improved.”

Paul Maeser, from Germany’s main industry association BDI, said smaller companies cannot cope and will not “continue to serve this market”.

He said: “Some of them have said they just can’t cope with this anymore, so they won’t continue to serve this market.”

French President Emmanuel Macron took a hard stance during Brexit negotiations but tensions between the UK and France escalated over recent weeks.

This month, French fishermen staged a protest, setting off flares as dozens of boats gathered in the waters near Jersey.

The boats eventually retreated after two Royal Navy warships moved in.

The protest came after France accused Jersey of dragging its feet over issuing new licences to French boats post-Brexit.

France has also accused the UK of being in breach of the Brexit agreement made with the EU last year over the crisis.

French fishermen have continued to claim the British dependency of Jersey imposed unfair restrictions on the waters which they could fish in.

Earlier this week Michael Gove said UK officials are working to resolve the matter with French counterparts.

He said: “I know George Eustice and Lord Frost have been having conversations with French and EU counterparts to deescalate the situation.”

French government spokesman Gabriel Attal previously said the frustration with the UK was not limited to France.

The diplomat said: “It’s not just France and it’s not just fishing.

“Britain must fully apply the agreements it signed up to, which is not the case right now.”

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