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Showdown talks over EU plans for “Brexit revenge” tariffs on e-vehicles from Britain are set to start in London at lunchtime.
They come after Express.co.uk revealed that the European Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen is under huge pressure from member states to drop plans to impose punitive taxes on e-vehicles coming from Britain.
The talks between Brussels bureaucrats and officials from Kemi Badenoch’s Department for Business and Trade (DBT) are set to begin at 1pm.
Items four, five and six on the agenda will effectively focus on the growing row over e-vehicles as the commission struggles to justify its protectionist measures.
The discussions centre around measures in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the UK and EU with the e-vehicle tariffs one of the demands the EU had refused to budge on when it was negotiated in 2020.
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The most tense talks will be over item six in the agenda which will specifically discuss the tariffs.
But, as Express.co.uk revealed, the European Commission is under pressure to at least postpone the tariffs because production in the EU of e-vehicles is at a low capacity.
Britain has already taken advantage of Brexit and moved a step ahead with better supply chains on critical minerals for batteries and major investments by BMW, Nissan, Ford and, most recently, Jaguar Landrover.
It means that the EU will struggle to meet its net zero targets and move to e-vehicles without supply from Britain.
But its tariffs will add hugely to the cost of European consumers.
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Director General of the Institute of Export and International Trade (IOE&IT) Marco Forgione, who regularly attends meetings in Europe, told Express.co.uk: “One of the biggest problems we have is the pressure on e-vehicles and the trade of vehicles between Great Britain and the EU.
“We’re seeing pressure now from the EU [member states], for the Commission to delay full implementation of the demands of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) around electric vehicles because e-vehicle production in Europe hasn’t scaled up sufficiently.
“Part of that will be the supply chain starting to get the critical minerals required.”
The tariffs on e-vehicles are not the only thorny item on the agenda.
The EU will also be discussing its protectionist measures on clothing and issues with customs.
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