Falklands fisheries battle: Brexit trade talks erupt in fight for tariff-free squid

Falklands fisheries battle: Brexit trade talks erupt in fight for tariff-free squid

THE UK has demanded access to tariff-free Falkland Islands squid in Brexit negotiations as the two sides fight for access on fish.

Fishing rights in UK waters remains one of the major obstacles between the EU and UK as negotiations continue. The Falkland Islands have warned of a huge loss to their economy if trade links for this squid are lost. According to the Financial Times, UK officials have requested tariff-free trade in the British Overseas Territory, in Brexit talks.

Without the exports being covered by any future trade deal, the squid could have tariffs of six percent and some fish products could even have tariffs of 18 percent.

The government on the islands has warned there would be people made unemployed if these tariffs were to be brought in.

The Falklands main fish export is Loligo squid, a type of calamari, and its government believes around half of the calamari eaten in Southern Europe comes from their seas.

This squid arrives in the EU though the Spanish port of Vigo.

Fish products make up more than 30 percent of the Falklands' government revenue.

Chief EU Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has said: "We want a balanced solution, linking access to waters and access to markets.

"There will not be a trade and economic agreement without an agreement on fish."

The Common Fisheries Policy was the reason many British fishermen voted to leave the bloc in 2016's referendum.

Many countries in the EU depend on their access to UK waters and are concerned Brexit could harm their business.

A UK government spokesperson said: “As stated in the UK government’s approach to negotiations with the EU.

"The UK would act on behalf of all the territories for whose international relations the UK is responsible and seek outcomes which support the territories' security and economic interests."

The EU and Britain must find solutions on issues, such as fisheries and trade, before July 1 when a decision to extend the transition period beyond 2020 must be made.

Throughout the pandemic, leaders have held video calls to continue with Brexit talks.

The UK government is hoping by the summer EU states would stop intervening on talks and allow Barnier to form a trade and security deal.

However, the EU now believes talks will continue into October, which concerns the UK as the country must prepare for any upcoming deal.