Fishing delays shows Brexit has consequences, says EU ambassador

João Vale de Almeida, the EU Ambassador to the UK

João Vale de Almeida, the EU Ambassador to the UK - Credit: YouTube

Problems exporting fish to continental Europe as a result of Brexit are a sign that “decisions have consequences", an EU ambassador has said.

The European Union’s ambassador to the UK Joao Vale de Almeida warned that the consequences of leaving the single market and customs union meant that extra checks and paperwork were now an ongoing fact of life.

At an event hosted by the Bright Blue think tank De Almeida said: “I like to say that decisions have consequences in the sense that the choice made by the United Kingdom – to leave the European Union first and then to leave the single market and the customs union, the sort of Brexit that you voted for – has consequences.

“One of them is that there has to be checks and controls at our borders, there is no way out of that.”

He acknowledged that part of the problem was due to the late deal – reached on Christmas Eve just days before the transition period expired at the end of 2020, which caused problems for firms and the customs administration to adapt.

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“We hope that things will improve in the coming weeks but don’t forget that things have fundamentally changed because of the departure from the EU and the departure from the single market and the customs union,” he said.

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