Will there be an agreement in the battle for a trade agreement with the British? Many problems have been “largely solved”, according to EU leader von der Leyen. All information in the news blog.
Great Britain and the European Union are still negotiating an agreement for the British to leave the EU. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have now extended a deadline that was originally valid until Sunday. The bottlenecks have not changed for months: fishing, fair competition and the question of how agreements are legally enforced in the event of a dispute.
Von der Leyen sees clear progress in the Brexit talks
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen sees clear progress in negotiations with Britain on a post-Brexit trade deal. “The good news is that we have found a way forward with the most problems,” von der Leyen said in the European Parliament on Wednesday. So there is movement on two of the three main points of contention. “The coming days will be decisive,” said von der Leyen.
The issue of control over a future agreement was “now largely resolved,” said the Commission chief. On the issue of fair competition, both sides had agreed on “a strong mechanism” that would avoid catching up with previous standards. However, there are still difficulties with the question “how to make fair competition truly future-proof”.
In contrast, the discussion on the issue of EU fishermen’s fishing rights in UK waters remains “very difficult,” said von der Leyen. “Sometimes you feel that we cannot solve this question.” Both parties are now “so close and yet so far” from an agreement, von der Leyen told MPs. Until the issues of competition and fisheries are resolved, no agreement can be reached.
Von der Leyen: London must either accept EU rules or pay a price
Despite the extreme time pressure, the EU still sees opportunities for a Brexit trade pact with Great Britain from 1 January. The next few days are crucial, EU negotiator Michel Barnier wrote on Twitter. In the European Parliament, however, anger is growing because there is almost no time left to ratify a possible treaty before the end of the year.
EU Commission Chair Ursula von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to continue negotiations, although they had actually announced a decision for Sunday. The Brexit transition period ends on December 31. Then, after leaving the EU at the end of January, Great Britain also leaves the internal market and the customs union. Without a connection agreement there is a risk of tariffs and trade barriers.
Von der Leyen said on Monday that one question was crucial: “And that is whether Britain wants smooth access to the internal market”. Britain is welcome: “But they have to follow our rules because that is a matter of fairness to our companies in the internal market, or the other option is they pay a price and the price is tariffs.” She was referring to a mechanism that should guarantee fair conditions of competition: if Great Britain deviates from EU standards, the EU could impose tariffs. In addition to EU fishing rights in British waters, demand is the central sticking point in the negotiations.
After renewal: new hope for a trade deal
After the extension for talks on a Brexit trade pact, hopes are growing that another breakthrough can come. Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told Irish broadcaster RTÉ on Sunday that the negotiators were extremely closed about the details of the talks. “This is a sign that there are serious discussions going on and neither side is breaking the trust. I see that as a good sign,” said the Irishman.
Originally, the final decision would be made on Sunday as to whether negotiations for a trade pact would be broken off or whether a deal would be reached. But after a brief phone call between European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, both sides announced that talks should continue. However, no concrete progress was mentioned. A new deadline was not initially mentioned.
The main arguments are to ensure fair competition and access for European fishermen to UK waters. There is also no consensus on the instruments to be used to enforce the agreement.
Talks about the Brexit pact are being extended again
Talks about a Brexit trade pact between Great Britain and the European Union are still ongoing. The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed on a phone call on Sunday, as both sides have announced.
A final decision on the negotiations should already have been made, but this has now been postponed again. The issues of fair competition and access for European fishermen to UK waters are particularly controversial. There is also no consensus on the instruments to be used to enforce the agreement. Read here the whole article.
The UK government publishes details on how to prepare for a no deal
Hours before the end of what is likely the latest deadline in the fight for a Brexit trade pact, the London government has released details of its “no deal” plan. A government spokesman said a government spokesperson had developed a strategy book that “plays out every foreseeable scenario”.
It is feared that a “no deal” after the end of the Brexit transition phase could lead to miles of traffic jams on the roads to the important ferry terminal in Dover at the end of the year. Much of the trade with the European continent takes place via the ferry connection to Calais in France and via the nearby Eurotunnel.
In any case, some physical checks must be introduced. But if no agreement is reached, there are also customs duties and quantitative restrictions to be observed. The formalities and controls required for this can quickly overwhelm small and medium-sized businesses in particular and cause trucks to get stuck at checkpoints. In addition, some of the computer programs developed for this purpose could not be tested.
The government spokesman emphasized that 900 additional workers had already been hired for border controls. In March, 1100 more should come on board. Seven locations in the hinterland have been set up for inspections and a head office that is operational around the clock has been set up. There would also be telephone hotlines and an app that carriers can use.
Negotiations on the post-Brexit deal were renewed again
UK and EU have extended their negotiations on a post-Brexit trade deal. “Despite the exhaustion after nearly a year of negotiations,” both sides wanted to “go one step further,” Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said in Brussels on Sunday after a phone call with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Brexit negotiations shortly before the deadline remain difficult
Shortly before the decisive day in the battle for a Brexit trade pact, no further solution is in sight, according to information from the negotiating circles. The negotiations in Brussels continued, but remained difficult, the British said Saturday evening. Further discussions, including on Sundays, are likely. As planned, EU Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson are expected to speak on Sunday, he said. The British position was unchanged: any agreement must be fair and respect the principles of sovereignty and control.
Great Britain left the EU at the beginning of this year. There is another transition period until the end of the year, in which almost everything remains the same. If a trade pact has not yet been concluded by then, there is a risk of high rates and other trade barriers. The main points of contention are the issues of a fair playing field and access for European fishermen to UK waters. Both parties took until Sunday to reach an agreement.
A British warship (symbolic image): The British navy has ships ready to protect its own waters in the event of a no-deal Brexit. (Source: YuliixZozulia / Image Images)
London wants to take action against EU fishing boats if there is no deal with the Royal Navy
The UK government has four Royal Navy ships on hand to protect their waters from EU fishermen in the event of a no-deal Brexit. This was confirmed by a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense in London on Saturday at the request of the German news agency. The naval patrol boats could be used, among other things, to repel EU fishing boats, the spokesman said. Also around the clock if necessary.
Fisheries is one of the bottlenecks in the stalled negotiations for a Brexit trade pact. There is another transition period until the end of the year, during which British fishermen and their colleagues from EU countries will share access to the 200-mile coastal zone claimed by Britain. London insists on regulating access to fish-rich waters as it sees fit in the future. The EU is pushing for an amicable settlement. But that is not in sight. Both sides have given until Sunday to make progress in the negotiations.
Oliver Dowden: The British Culture and Media Secretary is even more optimistic than his Prime Minister. (Source: Mark Thomas / Image Images)
The British minister remains optimistic
After British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s skeptical words about a Brexit trade pact with the EU, the London government is now rooting a bit back. He agrees with the head of government that the negotiations are likely to fail. But there is “considerable possibility that we can close this deal,” Culture and Media Secretary Oliver Dowden told Sky News on Friday. “We did almost 90 percent of the ride.” A trade deal is the best solution for both the EU and the UK, but not at any cost.
Johnson had said Thursday night, “I think we need to be very, very clear that now there is a high chance – a high probability – that we will have a solution that is more in line with Australia’s relationship with the EU than the Canadian. Everyone should now prepare for “the Australian option” – that is, trade without a deal, with tariffs under the rules of the World Trade Organization.
The Foreign Ministers of Germany and Ireland still consider Brexit possible
Despite the negative signals from Brussels and London, the foreign ministers of Germany and Ireland believe that an agreement in the Brexit negotiations is still possible. “We believe an agreement is difficult, but that it is still possible,” said Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) Friday during a meeting with his Irish colleague Simon Coveney in Berlin. The EU will continue to negotiate as long as the window to an agreement is “even ajar”.
“We want an agreement, but an agreement that is correct,” said Maas. The EU is also prepared in the event of no agreement. And in this case, the EU and Britain would “still remain partners and friends”. “It will be our responsibility to make that very clear even after such a situation”, says Maas.
His Irish colleague Coveney said his country was one of the hardest hit by Brexit. “We still believe it is possible to reach agreement on the future relationship and enter into a commercial agreement,” said Coveney.
Norway threatens the EU and Great Britain
If talks fail after Brexit, Norway threatens to close its waters to EU and UK fishermen on January 1. Necessary agreements on fishing rights between the three parties off the coast of non-EU member Norway next year after Britain’s exit from the EU would have been seriously delayed due to stalled negotiations between Brussels and London, Norway’s Fisheries Minister said Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen. on Friday in front of the parliament in Oslo. If there is no agreement on fishing by the end of the year, Norway will close its waters to UK and EU boats.
The EU and Norway have regulated fishing in their respective waters since 1980 with an agreement. This gives fishermen from EU countries access to the Norwegian sea – and vice versa. Due to Brexit, contracts between Brussels, London and Oslo had to be renegotiated. Norway and Great Britain agreed on a follow-up agreement in September. So the government in Oslo now sees the EU’s turn.
Von der Leyen prepares heads of state for “No Deal”
Brexit was also a theme at the EU summit on Thursday. However, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gave the heads of state or government little hope. Read more here.
Johnson transfers the queen over Brexit
The British Prime Minister and Queen traditionally meet for Christmas. But this year, Johnson can postpone the meeting at short notice. Read more here.
Johnson puts the British on the failure of the talks
After the Brexit dinner, Prime Minister Johnson is pessimistic about the latest sprint in the negotiations on a trade deal. On television, he calls on the British to prepare for the failure of the talks. Read more here.