All eyes on Cornwall as EU-UK trade war threat still hangs over G7 summit

Fri 11 Jun 2021
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton
Trade News

There is still a one in three chance of an EU-UK trade war, in which the EU could retaliate by limiting UK fish exports and even interrupting its electricity supply, according to a former Treasury official.

Mutjaba Rahman, managing director of consultancy Eurasia, said an intervention by the G7 appeared necessary to resolve the situation, the Guardian reports.

“All eyes are on Cornwall [where the G7 summit is taking place], as the relationship hangs on the precipice,” he added.

Macron says ‘Non!’

Following this week’s unsuccessful UK-EU talks to resolve differences in implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol, French president Emmanuel Macron has repeated his insistence that the Protocol is not negotiable, reports Bloomberg.

Macron is set to discuss the issue and the access of French fishermen to UK waters during a meeting with prime minister Boris Johnson on Saturday, on the sideline of the G7.

The PM and US president Joe Biden appeared to put their differences behind them for the cameras in Cornwall. Johnson described the US president as a breath of fresh air, reports the Telegraph.

Despite reports Biden was preparing to dress down his counterpart over the Northern Ireland Protocol, the leaders traded compliments rather than threats.

US trade deal plausible

Speaking on Times Radio, trade minister Greg Hands said that a US-UK trade deal was “definitely plausible” in Biden’s first term as president, reports the Express.

However, the New Statesman points out an irony that after leaving the EU to be free to make its own rules, the UK’s best chance of realising a trade deal with the US may be if it “aligns with the EU, smooths out the issues with the Northern Ireland Protocol and keeps the US happy”. 

Travel tricky

Former PM Theresa May has slammed “incomprehensible” travel rules that mean Britain is “shut for business”, reports the Telegraph.

While praising the UK’s vaccine programme, May said that if ministers blocked travel every time there was a new variant, “we will never be able to travel abroad ever again”.

The PM is set to make a decision next week on whether to go ahead with lifting the final Covid restrictions on 21 June.