France: Clement Beaune discusses ‘test for Europe’
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EU politicians reached a political agreement on Thursday on the £42.billion (€5billion) Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR), paving the way for a first payment by December.
Eurocrats say the focus is on countries and sectors worst affected by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and include cash for customs, health, phytosanitary and security controls.
The EU Commission said Ireland will be “by far” the largest beneficiary in absolute terms, followed by the Netherlands, France, Germany and Belgium.
But French officials have been left outraged that Ireland is getting the most funds, especially with many French fishermen struggling to survive.
Under the deal agreed by EU Politicians, a first instalment of 1.6 billion euros in pre-financing will be available by December 2021.
Two other pre-financing tranches of 1.6 billion euro will be paid at the beginning of 2022 and 2023 whilst the remaining 1 billion euro will be paid in 2025.
A Paris source added: “We have constantly called for France to be getting a large share of funds.
“Our fishermen are severely affected by Brexit due to the British not giving out the relevant licences with some even struggling to live.
“We feel this is a slight snub by Brussels, we were expecting to be higher up in the priority order.”
It is the latest move after fishermen in Boulogne and Calais complained about the lack of licences to fish in the English Channel from the UK Government, claims which the UK Government deny.
Last night, the EU Commission said three factors will be used to calculate how much money each EU country will receive from the BAR.
These include the importance of trade with the UK, the importance of fisheries in the UK exclusive economic zone and the population living in maritime regions bordering the UK.
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9am update: SNP challenges UK Government to publish crucial details of trade deal
The SNP has demanded that the UK government publishes details of the promised protections for British farmers and food standards in the UK-Australia trade deal agreement.
Deidre Brock MP challenged UK government ministers to set out those safeguards but was told that MPs will get “the details as they emerge in the course of this year.”
It comes as Sustain, which represents over 100 food and farming organisations, warned: “Coming into regulatory alignment with Australia would put the UK’s precautionary approach on products such as pesticides at risk, as well as potentially lowering the standard of nutritional information on food packaging.”
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