Even shortly before the decisive day, there is apparently no solution. The talk about a trade agreement between the EU and the UK but keep running. All information in the news blog.

It will be tight: Britain and the European Union could agree on an agreement for the British to leave the EU on Sunday evening. However, hopes are noticeably diminishing: despite having dinner together on Wednesday, both European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have spoken out pessimistic – both no longer believe in a deal. The bottlenecks have not changed for months: fishing, fair competition and the question of how agreements are legally enforced in a dispute.

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: 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 World Trade Organization rules.

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 an 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. The necessary agreements on fishing rights between the three parties off the coast of non-EU member Norway next year following Britain’s exit from the EU would have been seriously delayed due to faltering negotiations between Brussels and London, the Norwegian minister of Fishery 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 an issue 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 hands over the queen due to 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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