June 24, 2020 / 3:58 PM / 12 days ago

No-deal Brexit will hit Britain harder, EU's Barnier says

FILE PHOTO: EU's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier gives a news conference after Brexit negotiations, in Brussels, Belgium, June 5, 2020, REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A failure to agree a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union will hurt the British economy more, the EU’s negotiator Michel Barnier said on Wednesday, although he offered flexibility in fishing.

“It’s in the UK’s particular interest to avoid a no-deal,” Barnier told a forum via video Link. “We are ready to find a margin of flexibility on fisheries,” Barnier said, adding that the role of the European Union Court of Justice was also problematic in talks and that the EU insists on Britain’s commitment to the European Convention of Human Rights.

Barnier called on Britain to implement last October’s deal governing the Irish border because the EU wants strict customs checks and tariffs on some goods coming from mainland Britain into Northern Ireland in case goods move into EU-member Ireland.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, editing by Robin Emmott

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