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World EU-UK trade talks resume under Brexit bill cloud

10:02  28 september  2020
10:02  28 september  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Related Topics. EU - UK post- Brexit trade talks . Image copyright PA Media. Mr Gove will meet European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic to discuss implementation of the Brexit divorce deal. Mr Sefcovic said that if the bill were to be adopted, it would constitute an "extremely serious

Related Topics. EU - UK post- Brexit trade talks . Image copyright AFP. BBC Europe Editor Katya Adler said the EU accuses the UK of concentrating on its priorities whilst going slow on issues The UK is currently in a transition period under which it must follow most EU regulations, following its legal

Negotiators for the EU and Britain are hoping for a breakthrough in trade talks this week, despite feuding over a controversial UK bill that threatens to scupper a post-Brexit deal.

David Frost, Michel Barnier are posing for a picture: Britain's chief negotiator David Frost (L) and EU's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier met last week to prepare the round of talks © YVES HERMAN Britain's chief negotiator David Frost (L) and EU's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier met last week to prepare the round of talks

Scores of officials will assemble in Brussels from Monday in efforts to forge a compromise on negotiating positions that have not budged on key areas since the talks on future relations began six months ago.

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The EU is demanding the UK ditches plans to change Boris Johnson's Brexit deal "by the end of the month" or risk jeopardising trade talks . The publication of the bill prompted emergency talks between Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove and Maros Šefčovič, the European Commission

The UK and the EU will remain the "best of friends" but they will "not be as close as before" after Brexit , the new European Commission president has said. Speaking ahead of talks with the PM, Ursula von der Leyen warned it would be "impossible" to reach a comprehensive trade deal by the end of 2020.

Both London and Brussels say a deal on a free trade agreement must be struck by mid-October to allow time for it to be ratified before coming into force from January 1 next year.

Failure to do so would see trade conducted on World Trade Organization rules, with higher tariffs and quotas and almost certain economic chaos for Britain and Europe.

Chief negotiators Michel Barnier and the UK's David Frost met last week to prepare the round of talks, in meetings that London characterised as "constructive".

European diplomats remained cautious that a breakthrough was possible, seeing this round of meetings as laying the necessary groundwork for a final push later in October.

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Brexit : UK will not withdraw draft bill despite EU warnings, Gove says – video. The Brexit talks appear to be on the point of collapse after Britain flatly The clash on Thursday followed an EU demand that Boris Johnson drop his plans within three weeks or face financial or trade sanctions, after the bloc’s

Following Brexit day on 31 January, the EU and UK managed only one round of talks before coronavirus crashed them. Agendas for the negotiating sessions have not yet been published, but are expected to cover the 11 key topics of post- Brexit talks , including trade , security policy and fisheries.

"Next week, a path to a deal should be identified," an EU source said. "If we have zero movement, the process will be in big trouble."

- 'Rough patch' -

Also on Monday senior EU and UK officials will meet in Brussels to try to find an understanding on the highly contentious issue of the withdrawal bill.

EU Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic will meet his British counterpart Michel Gove as joint chair of an EU-UK coordination committee overseeing the implementation of the divorce agreement.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, whose country has more to lose than most if talks break down, said Brussels will not rubberstamp a trade agreement if London keeps threatening to breach its divorce.

EU capitals were incensed by Johnson's decision to push an Internal Markets Bill in his own parliament that his own government admits would break international law by overwriting the withdrawal treaty.

Brussels intends to launch legal action against the measure, but decided to continue talks on a trade deal as the bill passes through the Commons and House of Lords.

"When you have a family member who is going through a bit of a rough patch and loses it a bit, you can't cut him off from the rest of your life," an EU source said.

The two sides are still divided on rules for a "level-playing field" of fair competition between companies, on state aid or subsidies for EU and UK firms and on access for EU boats to British fishing waters.

Diplomats are hoping for significant progress in time for a summit of EU leaders later in the month, though expectations are that the wrangling could slip into November.

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Theresa May Fast Facts .
Read CNN's Fast Facts to learn more about Theresa May, former prime minister of the United Kingdom. © Wiktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto/Getty Images British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street in central London for the weekly PMQ session in the House of Commons on 27 March, 2019. Today, MPs will hold a series of indicative votes on alternative Brexit plans following a government defeat in the Commons as parliamentarians took control of the order paper.

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