UK shows up the EU on support for Ukraine yet again
This time it’s by abolishing tariffs while the EU continues to enforce them
Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2022
First it was providing weapons, next it was leading on Russian sanctions, now it’s on support for Ukraine’s economy
The Ukraine asked for more help on military equipment and making it easier to trade. The UK gladly obliged. The same was asked of the EU - the weapons support is paltry and many levies are still being enforced.
Facts4EU has gone through the current trade deal with Ukraine the UK inherited from the EU and identified what tariffs and quotas have been abolished by the UK. We then looked at what still exists at the EU border – and the EU does not come out well.
Facts4EU.org provides a summary of facts below.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary
UK responds with help, while EU dallies and maintains its Fortress Europe for trade
The EU delivers Ukraine its very own protocol just like Northern Ireland
- The UK inherited the EU trade deal with Ukraine first signed in 2014
- President Zelenskyy requested that the UK and EU abolish the remaining tariffs and quotas to help the Ukrainian economy
- The UK agreed to abolish quotas and tariffs and reduce other trade restrictions
- The EU would not agree to either request
- Flights and ports are closed, so all trade must go by land through the EU – incurring tariffs
- If the EU would not relinquish its quotas and tariffs Zelenskyy asked the EU to grant a ‘Green Channel’ through the EU to reach the UK
- The EU refused
- Number of EU quotas and tariffs remaining in place : 925 categories.
- There are 350 EU quota categories
- There are 575 EU tariff categories
- The number of categories at the UK border is zero
© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2022 - click to enlarge
Lord (Dan) Hannan
”Since the Russian invasion, Kiev has been lobbying London and Brussels for the removal of the last tariffs and an easing of the more stringent border checks. This matters a lot, because Ukraine has lost its coastline. All its exports must now pass through EU territory.”
“Last week, the UK acceded to Ukrainian requests, to general delight in Kiev. Britain has removed the remaining tariffs. The EU has not. This is of more than symbolic interest because Ukraine cannot export to the UK, or anywhere else, without transiting EU territory. Hence its constant requests for a “green channel.”
”If Europhiles truly cared, they would add their voices to those in Kiev urging Brussels to lift restrictions on exports – even if only the checks on goods transiting to the UK. But that would mean moving past their dislike of Britain, so I'm not holding my breath.”
- Baron (Dan) Hannan of Kingsclere, by Twitter, 12 April 2022
Ukraine is the UK’s 69th largest trading partner. Total trade in goods and services between the UK and Ukraine was £1.5 billion in 2019. UK exports to Ukraine were £0.7 billion, while UK imports from Ukraine were £0.8 billion.
Using data from HMRC for trade in goods only, the top goods exported to Ukraine were vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling stock (£78 million) and aircraft, spacecraft and parts thereof (£77 million), together representing under a third of the total value of goods exported to Ukraine. The UK’s top goods imported from Ukraine were iron and steel (£177 million) and cereals (£173 million), together representing over half of goods imported from Ukraine.
Why the lifting of tariffs is important
Some critics of the UK’s show of solidarity have said the lifting of tariffs and quotas is of little consequence. We disagree. Here are some of the items still subject to the EU's quotas and tariffs - but NOT subject to UK tariffs and quotas:
- A wide range of agri-foods processed and unprocessed
- Hides and leather
- Particle board and veneers
- Clothing, shoes and trainers
- Pottery, ceramics, glassware
- Metallic tape
- Aluminium goods, alloys
- Various electrical goods, televisions and monitors
The EU has no shame in the way it treats Ukraine
The usual suspects that cannot believe anything the UK does to help Ukraine is good enough have clearly not looked at the tariff and quota schedules. True, there is a reduction in trade because of the war but the Ukrainians do have goods, commodities and produce made specifically for the export market and desperately need the overseas earnings. Why does the EU maintain its 925 quotas and tariffs even though economic movement is highly restricted?
Quotas at a time of war is especially bizarre. Why bleed the Ukrainians when they need all the help they can get?
And why not allow a Green Channel so the UK can at least buy Ukrainian goods and produce if the EU will not do so?
The UK shows the EU how to be a “Good European”
Yet again the EU has failed to show the solidarity required – and yet it wants Denmark to abandon its opt-out from the EU’s security and defence policy (code for foreign policy with an army to enforce it).
Just as many EU member states continue to guzzle Russian gas, just as the Germans have delayed the ban on Russian coal by 120 days, just as the French sold arms to Russia up until the invasion and its companies are dodging the sanctions – so the EU fails to take the simple action of abolishing its tariffs and quotas on Ukrainian goods. If that is what is called being a “good European” then the European project deserves to be doomed.
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[ Sources: UK Department for International Trade, schedule of tariffs and quotas for Ukraine | HMRC | EU Commission trade tarrifs and quotas ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.
Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Thursday 14 April 2022
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