The Scots should vote again on their independence next year. If accepted, the Prime Minister of Scotland will quickly lead the country back to the EU. All information in the news blog.

Great Britain and the European Union are still negotiating an agreement for the British to leave the EU. European 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.

Scotland’s head of government for rapid EU accession

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon is sticking to her plans for Scotland to join the EU. After the independence referendum she is pursuing, she will quickly lead her country into the European Union, Sturgeon said in an interview with Die Welt newspaper and other European media. “According to the latest polls, more than half of Scots want independence. I am confident that the Scots will say yes in the next referendum.”

According to Sturgeon, Scotland is “a one-time opportunity for rapid entry into the EU” and “no enlargement”. After all, as part of the United Kingdom, Scotland had been a member for more than 40 years. “Scotland is coming home, this is not a new beginning.”

Scotland needs London’s approval for the referendum. If Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not allow a referendum, Sturgeon is not ruling out legal action. If London refuses to approve, we have to see if the Scottish Parliament can pass the necessary legislation. This question has not yet been addressed in court, but I am not ruling it out. We cannot allow the British government to block democracy. “

Von der Leyen sees clear progress – fishing remains a problem

In the dispute over a Brexit trade pact, London and Brussels still see major differences despite progress. Especially in London, the chances of a deal are not so well estimated. After a phone call with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday evening, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that substantial progress had been made on many points. But there are still differences, especially when it comes to fishing. “Bridging it will be a major challenge.” The British Prime Minister warned that the talks were in a “dire situation”. Time is short and it is very likely that no agreement will be reached unless the EU “changes substantially” its position.

Von der Leyen is on the phone with Boris Johnson

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have agreed on another Brexit phone call for Thursday evening (8 p.m. CET). It involves discussing the status of the negotiations on the planned trade deal, von der Leyen spokesman Eric Mamer said on Twitter.

Both parties had previously given different ratings. EU negotiator Michel Barnier had stated there was “good progress”, but also “final stumbling blocks”. A Johnson spokesperson was more cautious: “We have made some progress in a few areas, but there are still significant differences on key issues.”

Just two weeks before the end of the transitional phase of Brexit on December 31, the European Union is still negotiating a follow-up agreement with Great Britain. Should it come to that, it should be ratified before the end of the year. Without a contract there is a risk of tariffs and serious trade barriers.

European Parliament sets deadline for Brexit treaty

The European Parliament is negotiating a possible Brexit trade pact through Sunday. If a finished text is available at midnight, it will be ready to schedule a special session for ratification, a resolution by parliamentary leaders said on Thursday.

CSU European politician Manfred Weber had previously promoted this deadline. “I proposed this morning to the leadership of the European Parliament to approve a Brexit deal if we have it on Sunday,” the European People’s Party group leader wrote on Twitter. “After that, we can no longer properly examine the deal before the end of the year. The treaty is too important to rage through parliament.”

There is no breakthrough in sight in the stalled Brexit negotiations. EU officials and diplomats said an agreement by Friday was unlikely. There were still differences on one of the main points of contention: the issue of future fishing quotas. EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier told MPs on Thursday that a deal was possible, but difficult, especially on fisheries. The AFP agency had previously reported that Barnier thought an agreement was possible by Friday. Barnier himself tweeted that good progress had been made, but that one obstacle had not yet been removed.

Second night of the fisheries negotiations: “will be a special challenge”

Negotiations by EU agriculture ministers on catch quotas next year are expected to start the second night in a row. According to diplomatic circles in Brussels, a first compromise proposal from the German presidency of the EU Council did not reach an agreement on Wednesday. Negotiations on allowable catches in the Atlantic, North Sea, Mediterranean and Black Sea have been complicated by the uncertainty resulting from the stalled trade talks with Great Britain.

“That will be a special challenge,” said Federal Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) on the second day of a meeting with EU colleagues in Brussels. But an agreement is essential, “because if we cannot agree on quotas, fishing is prohibited”. “It could last late into the night.”

In Brussels, there are regular bickering at night about the maximum catch for fishermen. In this case, the problem is compounded by the fact that EU fishermen’s access to UK waters is not guaranteed. The question is one of the sticking points in the stalled negotiations between Brussels and London on a trade deal after Brexit.

UK pet owners will need a new certificate when entering the EU after Brexit

UK pet owners will be required to provide a new document for their pets when entering the EU after Brexit. After the transition phase ended on January 1, pet owners would be required to present a health certificate for their pets, the British government announced on Wednesday. This must not be older than ten days upon entry and must be issued by a specially authorized veterinarian.

As before, the animals also need to be microchipped and vaccinated against rabies. For pets traveling with their owners from the EU to Great Britain, the old regime will remain: they only need an EU pet passport.

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. When it came to the issue of fair conditions of 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.

European Commission President 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 competition: if the UK deviates from EU standards, the EU can 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

Following 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 on 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 on 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 spoke about this during a telephone conversation on Sunday, as both parties 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 strategy book had been developed that “played 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, customs duties and quantity restrictions must also 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 employees had already been hired for border controls. In March, 1,100 more should come on board. Seven locations in the hinterland have been set up for inspections and a head office has been set up that is operational around the clock. There would also be telephone hotlines and an app that carriers can use.

Negotiations on the post-Brexit agreement were renewed again

UK and EU have extended their negotiations on a post-Brexit trade deal. “Despite exhaustion after nearly a year of negotiations,” both sides wanted to “go one step further,” said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, in Brussels on Sunday after a phone call with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Brexit negotiations shortly before the deadline remain difficult

Shortly before what is likely the defining 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 meet 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 (symbol): 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 Navy’s patrol boats could be used, among other things, to fend off 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: Image Images / Mark Thomas)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.

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