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 Photographs


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

The U.Okay. 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 may formulate new commerce preparations. Nonetheless, this has confirmed to be a tough activity with talks caught over the identical three points because the spring.


“I do suppose it is a very vital week, the final actual main week,” Dominic Raab, instructed the BBC on Sunday.

Each side want to succeed in new commerce preparations 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 — larger prices and limitations for exporters on either side.


Based on Raab, a breakthrough relies on overcoming variations over a “pretty slender” variety of points. The main sticking factors stay over fishing, competitors coverage and governance of any future deal. They’ve totally different views on how a lot entry European fishing crews ought to have on U.Okay. waters, and on what kind of market competitors guidelines ought to be utilized to make sure Britain’s departure doesn’t jeopardize the EU’s single market.

The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, instructed journalists in London on Sunday: “Allow us to work, allow us to work,” in line with Sky Information in reference to the chance of a deal.


Earlier than arriving in London for extra talks, Barnier stated Friday that the “similar vital divergences persist.”

Deal or no deal?

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

David Frost, the U.Okay.’s chief negotiator, stated Friday that “it’s late, however a deal continues to be attainable.”

A European official, who did not need to be named because of the delicate nature of the talks, instructed CNBC over the weekend {that a} breakthrough depends on a cellphone name between U.Okay. 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 await an finish to the method. The British Chambers of Commerce, a commerce physique for companies, warned in late September of “main gaps” in authorities steering for companies if no deal is reached.

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

Carmakers are reportedly stockpiling automobiles and components to keep away from being hit with tariffs in case the U.Okay. and the EU don’t attain an settlement. Manufacturers similar to Volkswagen and Honda have giant manufacturing vegetation within the U.Okay. after which export them to the remainder of the EU.


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