Labour MP Luke Pollard has hit out at the UK Government’s plan for “Water Wars” with the EU
Labour MP, Luke Pollard has responded to news that Britain could declare Brexit “Water Wars” in response to Brussels’ blockade on shellfish as” posturing and blame avoidance”.
The MP for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport who is also the Labour Party’s Shadow Environment Secretary hit out at the Conservative Government’s plans calling it “Posturing and blame avoidance seems to be Defra’s priority when they should be helping fishers. Government’s failure to prepare for the Brexit version they chose is risking jobs in fishing right now. It’s home-grown ministerial incompetence hammering British fishing right now.”
The MP was responding to a Sunday Telegraph report yesterday which that the UK Government has plans to restrict the importing of European mineral water and several food products into the UK as retaliatory measures being considered by ministers over Brussels refusal to end its blockade in British shellfish.
According to the Sunday Telegraph report, Ministers are looking at proposals dubbed “Water Wars” which could see the UK end a number of continuity arrangements it has agreed with the EU.
This could mean restrictions are potentially imposed on certain products being sold in the UK, and in soe cases imports being stopped altogether.
Senior Government sources pointed to potential restrictions on the importing of mineral water and seed potatoes, the latter of which the EU has secured a temporary agreement on until the end of June.
In a warning shot to Brussels, a Government source told The Sunday Telegraph: “There is a thought being given to where er can leverage in other areas. We have continuity arrangements; we can stop these which means they won’t be able to sell their produce here.”
The discussions over “tit for tat” measures began earlier this month after the European Commission announced that a ban on the export of live oysters, clams, scallops and mussels from Britain’s waters would become permanent because it is now listed as a third country.
The Telegraph continued that it can now be disclosed that Ministers have escalated contingency planning after Stella Kyriakides, the European Commissioners for Health and Food Safety, snubbed a request to meet George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, to resolve the row.
British Prime Minister is said to be personally angered by the move which took Ministers by surprise and which officials claim contradicted earlier assurances they had been given by the Commission.