EU officials could introduce tariffs on popular fish consumed in Britain in the event of a no deal Brexit. They claim Britons consume more white fish than exists in British waters, with the UK relying on imports from the Continent. An official added haddock and cod supplies are the most popular with Britons and both species will be subject to tough tariffs if Britain refuses to grant access to its waters for European fishing boats.
The tariffs could be implemented as early as April 12 if Britain leaves the bloc without a deal.
EU and UK officials have promised to leave talks on a joint-fisheries agreement until after Brexit.
The European Commission confirmed retaliatory measures could impact cod and haddock supplies to Britain if talks breakdown.
A source said: “Currently the UK consumes more white fish than it catches in its waters and could catch in its waters.
“Any fish the UK doesn’t catch it will have to import and that will become a trade issue.”
Karmenu Vela, the Commissioner responsible for fisheries, said insisted the EU is keen to strike a reciprocal deal.
He said: “in case of a no-deal Brexit, EU fishing vessels would have to leave UK waters and UK vessels would have to leave EU waters.
“This would have significant negative economic consequences on the part of the EU fleet, which depends on access to UK water.
“Obviously, even on the part of the UK fleet fishing in EU waters.”
Mr Vela offered Britain the opportunity to keep its waters open in order to prevent any disruption to its fish supplies.
The news comes as Bank of England governor Mark Carney warned earlier this week that the chance of a no deal Brexit is now “alarmingly high”.
Mr Carney defended his continued gloomy forecast of a no deal Brexit as the UK’s April 12 deadline to leave the EU fast approaches.
He told Sky News: “Unfortunately I think it proved accurate. It’s alarmingly high now. We’re in a situation where the expressed will of Parliament is for some form of deal, so to put it in the double negative: parliament is against no deal.
“The Government, as expressed by the Prime Minister, is against no deal, the European Union is against no deal, and yet it is a possibility – it is the default option.
“So no deal would happen by accident, it would happen suddenly, there would be no transition – it is an accidental disorderly Brexit.”