Britain said Thursday it had paid a whopping £2.3 billion ($2.8 billion) to settle a long-running row with the EU, despite having quit the bloc.
|UK settles £2.3bn trade row with EU, photo DANIEL LEAL / AFP |
A final payment of £1.1 billion was made this week to resolve the dispute over textiles and footwear imported into Britain from China, Treasury minister John Glen said.
Since Brexit took full effect three years ago, Britain is no longer bound by European Union rules.
But legacy issues such as the China trade dispute have continued to bedevil ties, to the anger of pro-Brexit right-wingers in the UK parliament.
In a written statement to the House of Commons, Glen said the government was "keen to resolve this long-running case once and for all and is committed to fulfilling its international obligations".
He said the final interest payment due to Brussels would "draw a line" under the issue.
The case dates back to 2017, the year after Britain voted to quit the EU but when it was still part of the bloc pending divorce negotiations.
The EU's anti-fraud office had accused UK authorities of turning a blind eye to customs evasion by traders importing clothes and shoes from China into Britain, and therefore into the bloc's single market.
"The UK has argued throughout the case that it took appropriate steps to counter the fraud in question," Glen said.
Nevertheless it wanted to end any prospect of having to hand over more interest payments from prolonging the dispute, he said.
| ||Firms must work to fully benefit from UKVFTA: Insiders |
The UK-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA) has given a big push to Vietnamese exports, but insiders said firms still have much to do to make the most of the deal.
| ||UK can blossom in Vietnam to celebrate 50 years of trade |
British business in Vietnam is increasing, with many great performances during 2022. Kenneth Atkinson, chairman of the British Chamber of Commerce Vietnam, talked to VIR’s Bich Thuy about the interesting stories of recovery, and future investment trends under impacts of free trade agreements.
| ||Vietnamese businesses in UK boost cooperation with companies at home |
The Vietnam Business Association in the UK (VBUK) will host and attend trade activities and fairs to promote tourism, cuisine and goods of Vietnam, and create more opportunities for businesses in the UK and the homeland to enhance business cooperation, its President Phuong Hoang has said.