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US News Brexit: resumption of tough negotiations between London and Brussels

06:50  02 june  2020
06:50  02 june  2020 Source:   lepoint.fr

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Negotiations . Negotiation positions. Brexit negotiations begin. Thatcher, who had previously supported the common market and the Single European Act, in the Bruges speech of 1988 warned against "a European super-state exercising a new dominance from Brussels ".

Even with the risk of a hard Brexit hanging over their heads, pound traders seem to be looking the other way. The currency touched a three-week high against a weaker dollar, one day before fraught trade negotiations resume between London and Brussels .

Les principales étapes de la route vers le Brexit © Sophie RAMIS The main stages of the road to Brexit

British and Europeans meet Tuesday by videoconference for a new session of discussions without much hope of progress, despite the pressure of the calendar and the risk of a "no deal".

Michel Barnier, the European negotiator, warned Sunday in the Sunday Times that there would be "no agreement" if London did not reverse its previous positions and reproached the British for choosing "only what suited them" in the European single market.

Le négociateur britannique pour le Brexit David Frost, le 2 mars 2020 à Bruxelles © Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD The British Brexit negotiator David Frost, March 2, 2020 in Brussels

Monday, 10 Downing street accused Brussels of wanting to introduce into the negotiation "unbalanced proposals which would attach the United Kingdom to the rules or the "European standards, and denounced requirements" unprecedented in free trade agreements ".

Europe’s Next Big Gamble: That Boris Johnson Will Blink First

  Europe’s Next Big Gamble: That Boris Johnson Will Blink First The European Union is betting that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants a trade deal so much he will compromise to get one. With talks between the two sides locked in a stalemate and the chances of agreement before a key summit in June looking slim, EU officials say they see no reason to change tack. When chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned on Friday that an agreement may be impossible to reach, his comment was as much to do with putting pressure on the U.K. to back down as it was about signaling an imminent collapse of the talks, they said.“To make progress in this negotiation -- if it is still the U.K.

Punishments could also mean the City of London blocked from European financial markets and He added: “There are all sorts of problems with this. It will make negotiations of future trade deals very The cabinet’s Brexit sub-committee will try to reach agreement on the next stage of negotiations

Formal Brexit negotiations began on Monday morning, but Prime Minister Theresa May still finds herself scrambling to shore up support in the House of Monday’s meeting in Brussels might also be cut short after a staff memo advised those in the EU headquarters to avoid drinking alcohol and leave

After three discussion sessions started at the beginning of March, at the rate of one per month, the gap remains wide between the positions of each other. The situation is complicated by the coronavirus pandemic which forces the hundreds of negotiators on both sides to work by videoconference.

Le négociateur de l'UE pour le Brexit Michel Barnier, le 15 mai 2020 à Bruxelles © FRANCOIS LENOIR The EU negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier, May 15, 2020 in Brussels

For Michel Barnier, this new round of talks scheduled until Friday should make it possible "to know if the United Kingdom wants to leave the internal market and the customs union (...) with or without agreement with us ".

A balance sheet of the discussions must be drawn up in June before a meeting at the highest level between the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

UK falling short of post-Brexit target for customs agents, warns industry

  UK falling short of post-Brexit target for customs agents, warns industry The UK government is falling far short of a target to train an estimated 50,000 new customs agents that will be needed after Brexit and is “misleading” the public over its level of preparedness, customs and haulage industry leaders warned. The UK government is falling far short of a target to train an estimated 50,000 new customs agents that will be needed after Brexit and is “misleading” the public over its level of preparedness, customs and haulage industry leaders warned.

No sooner had negotiations begun on the UK's post- Brexit relationship with the EU, than the coronavirus pandemic effectively put a halt to proceedings. A first round of talks took place in early March, but subsequent face-to-face talks were suspended for six weeks.

15/53 Brexit negotiations begin. Brexit Minister David Davis and European Commission member in charge of Brexit negotiations Michel Barnier address a The European Council has said Gibraltar would be included in a trade deal between London and Brussels only with the agreement of Spain.

- "Minimum agreement"? -

London had made this milestone a deadline by threatening not to continue the talks if progress was not sufficient. But that was before the shock caused by the pandemic, which plunged the Old Continent into a probably historic recession, and upset the deal.

For Brussels, the relationship with London after the divorce of January 31, the end of 47 years of common life, has gone into the background in the face of the urgency of an economic recovery.

"There is not much to expect from these new discussions. But I do not think that the British will break up in the absence of progress. The situation has totally changed with the virus," said the expert. Anand Menon of the research center "The UK in a Changing Europe".

London must however decide before the end of June on a request to postpone the end of the transitional period for a year or even two. The British government has repeatedly ruled out this possibility, even if it was requested by the EU.

Michel Barnier says EU remains ‘open’ to transition period extension

  Michel Barnier says EU remains ‘open’ to transition period extension Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, has told opposition MPs at Westminster that Brussels remains “open” to extending the transition period by up to two years, as talks on a future trade deal continue to founder. Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, has told opposition MPs at Westminster that Brussels remains “open” to extending the transition period by up to two years, as talks on a future trade deal continue to founder.

The Brexit talks remain locked solid, but Brussels expects London to make a move — potentially in the next week and with a new text laying out changes to the For all the spin from U.K. ministers that this week's negotiations are inching toward changes to the Brexit deal, the view from Brussels is far

Tensions have risen over Brexit negotiations for the Rock of Gibraltar. The European Council has said Gibraltar would be included in a trade deal between London and Brussels only with the agreement of Spain. While former Conservative leader Michael Howard claimed that Theresa May would be

"During his meeting with Ursula von der Leyen, Boris Johnson will undoubtedly want to send a voluntarist message on the date of December 31. This does not mean that he abandoned the ambition of an agreement, even at minima, by December ", estimates Eric Maurice of the Schuman Foundation.

If the United Kingdom decides to interrupt the talks and therefore take the risk of a no deal "for political reasons, it will be near the end of December", predicts Anand Menon.

While displaying incompatible positions on the main subjects of the negotiation - architecture of the agreement (one or more), conditions of fair competition (on environmental, social, tax standards), dispute settlement, access rights for fishermen in British waters - both sides say they want to find a compromise.

"If there is one, it will be very late in the discussions and not before the fall," predicted the British expert.

According to other observers, London could also be tempted by a no deal, the potentially devastating effect of which could be attributed to the economic consequences of the shock of the pandemic.

fmi / csg / roc

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