Following a publication from the European Commission Communication on the need to reform the EU trade defence instruments (TDIs), today the heads of governments meeting in Brussels acknowledged that unfair trade practices need to be tackled better.
However, the UK remains at the head of a blocking group of member states which opposes important aspects of the package, including reform of the ‘lesser duty rule’.
David Martin, Labour MEP for Scotland and International Trade Spokesperson for the Socialist and Democrats group in the European Parliament, said:
“The evidence from UK Steel and other industry representatives shows that the outlook for British manufacturing remains bleak.
It is a hard truth that many of our former industrial communities voted to leave the EU because they thought that successive governments had abandoned them. Yet the Tories seem to think that the Brexit mandate allows them to turbo-charge the destruction of Britain’s manufacturing sector, piling more misery onto these same voters.
Once out of the EU, Britain should of course push strong trading relationships with the rest of the world. However, this cooperation must be based on a level playing field. Unfortunately, the UK government’s continuing obstruction of trade defence reform at EU level is a betrayal of this principle of fairness and a betrayal of British workers.”