Brexit trade talks enter ‘last leg’ with no-deal deadline just weeks away



British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen in London, Britain, Jan. 8, 2020.

Xinhua Information Company | Xinhua Information Company | Getty Photos


LONDON — The U.Ok. and the EU are within the “final leg of negotiations” over a post-Brexit commerce settlement, in keeping with Britain’s overseas minister, with just a few weeks left to approve any potential deal. 

The U.Ok. stopped being a member of the EU in January, nevertheless it agreed to maintain following European guidelines till the tip of 2020 so either side might formulate new commerce preparations. Nonetheless, this has confirmed to be a tough process with talks caught over the identical three points for the reason that spring.


“I do suppose this can be a very important week, the final actual main week,” Dominic Raab, informed the BBC on Sunday.

Either side want to succeed in new trade arrangements and rectify them of their respective parliaments earlier than the tip of the yr. Failure to attain that might result in a no-deal state of affairs — increased prices and boundaries for exporters on either side.


In keeping with Raab, a breakthrough depends upon overcoming variations over a “pretty slender” variety of points. The major sticking points stay over fishing, competitors coverage and governance of any future deal. They’ve completely different views on how a lot entry European fishing crews ought to have on U.Ok. waters, and on what kind of market competitors guidelines needs to be utilized to make sure Britain’s departure doesn’t jeopardize the EU’s single market.

A deal might disintegrate with out fisheries

Companies fear

Earlier final week, European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen mentioned that “these are decisive days” within the course of, however she couldn’t say whether or not there would positively be a deal. The message in London since then has been extra constructive.

David Frost, the U.Ok.’s chief negotiator, mentioned Friday that “it’s late, however a deal continues to be doable.”

A European official, who did not need to be named because of the delicate nature of the talks, informed CNBC over the weekend {that a} breakthrough depends on a telephone name between U.Ok. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and von der Leyen.

Nonetheless, there aren’t but any plans for a name between the 2.

Within the meantime, companies on either side look ahead to an finish to the method. The British Chambers of Commerce, a commerce physique for companies, warned in late September of “main gaps” in authorities steerage for corporations if no deal is reached.

As a member of the EU for greater than 40 years, many U.Ok. exporters depend on uncooked supplies or purchasers based mostly in Europe and vice-versa.

Carmakers are reportedly stockpiling vehicles and elements to keep away from being hit with tariffs in case the U.Ok. and the EU don’t attain an settlement. Manufacturers comparable to Volkswagen and Honda have giant manufacturing crops within the U.Ok. after which export them to the remainder of the EU.

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