Northern Ireland

Brexit: Backstop could mean tariffs on GB fish

Fishing boats moored in Brixham harbour Image copyright Getty Images

Fish from Great Britain could face customs tariffs on entry to NI if the Brexit backstop was ever triggered.

Environment Secretary George Eustice confirmed that tariffs could apply during a Commons debate this week.

The backstop would mean the whole of the UK remaining in a customs union with the EU.

However only NI would be covered by the customs backstop in regard to fish, unless a separate UK-EU fisheries agreement is reached.

A spokesperson for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: "Consignments of fish originating in England, Wales and Scotland that are moved to Northern Ireland would be subject to tariffs.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Tariffs on seafood imported into the EU customs territory can be as high as 24%

"The withdrawal agreement provides for the joint committee to agree conditions under which NI vessels landing into the EU customs territory would not pay tariffs.

"However, the withdrawal agreement is flexible enough that if an agreement is reached once the backstop has entered into force, fisheries could still be included in the customs arrangements from that point."

Tariffs on seafood imported into the EU customs territory can be as high as 24%.

Fresh cod has a tariff of 12%, however mackerel does not attract a tariff.

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