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World U.K., EU on Course to Strike Trade Deal Despite Public Tensions

21:50  20 november  2020
21:50  20 november  2020 Source:   bloomberg.com

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In order to have a UK- EU trade deal fully ratified and in place by the end of the transition period on December 31, an agreement will need to be reached in the “Of course , this sends out a political signal. But it is high time to prepare people and businesses in case we cannot fix an agreement in time.

"Not just because the European Union is losing 66 million citizens and one of its strongest economies. You have always been 'Global Britain,' and that did the Pro-Brexit lawmakers in the U . K . have always argued that the country should strike out on its own and be free of the rules and regulations (as they

(Bloomberg) -- The U.K. and European Union are on course to strike a trade deal in coming days even though several big differences between them still need to be bridged, people close to the negotiations said.

a large ship in the water: The Ever Gentle container ship, right, the Moscow Maersk container ship, center, and the MSC Chloe container ship, left, on the dockside at the Port of Felixstowe Ltd. in Felixstowe, U.K., on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. The organization responsible for setting global environmental standards for shipping approved rules designed to curb the industry's carbon emissions, triggering criticism that its measures won't do enough to help tackle climate change. © Bloomberg The Ever Gentle container ship, right, the Moscow Maersk container ship, center, and the MSC Chloe container ship, left, on the dockside at the Port of Felixstowe Ltd. in Felixstowe, U.K., on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. The organization responsible for setting global environmental standards for shipping approved rules designed to curb the industry's carbon emissions, triggering criticism that its measures won't do enough to help tackle climate change.

Despite the abrupt suspension of face-to-face talks this week after a member of the EU negotiating team tested positive for Covid-19, officials on both sides are optimistic.

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ELLESBOROUGH, England—President Donald Trump affirmed his commitment to striking a trade deal with the U . K ., seeking to walk back earlier comments in which he criticized Prime Minister Theresa May’s approach to Brexit and said her plan would “kill” the chances of such a deal .

The European Union and Japan will hold a summit Thursday in hopes of sealing broad agreement on a massive trade deal after four years of tough negotiations. The landmark deal would mark a big victory for free trade just days before a G20 summit in Germany in which US President Donald Trump is

A deal could now be struck toward the end of next week or, more likely, during the week of Nov. 30, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. For that to happen, the British government, and to a lesser extent the EU, still need to take big political decisions -- and if they don’t, the negotiations could founder, the people cautioned.

The delicate choreography now being worked out by the two sides has been complicated by the fact British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier have both had to quarantine after coming into contact with the coronavirus.

The EU is pressing Johnson, who will end his isolation on Thursday, to take a final decision on the compromises it sees as necessary if there is to be a deal. The U.K. has so far resisted the bloc’s demands on the level playing field for businesses and on how exactly any agreement will be enforced.

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"No point" in further discussions with the EU unless it changes course , Downing Street says. He added: " Trade talks are over. The EU have effectively ended them by saying they do not want to Boris Johnson's public declaration that the UK should prepare for no deal did not cause great

In another defiant message outside Downing Street the PM announced she had secured agreement with the EU on the second half of her Brexit deal The PM declared she had 'delivered on the result of the referendum' with a political declaration that allows Britain to strike its own trade deals and end

Potential Compromise?

The EU wants the U.K. to follow the bloc’s environmental and labor standards even if they change in future, something Johnson has opposed. Both sides still disagree on the extent to which penalties can be applied if either side breaches the terms of any agreement.

The two sides have also failed to reach a compromise on what access EU boats will have to U.K. fishing waters from next year, although their differences in this area are narrowing.

Privately, officials say the contours of a deal are emerging: if Johnson offers concessions on the level playing field, he might be able to claim victory on fisheries.

EU leaders though, are continuing to heap pressure on Johnson, and have raised the prospect that a deal won’t be reached. That outcome could trigger disruption at the U.K.’s borders and leave consumers and businesses reeling from the additional costs of tariffs and quotas.

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The UK has struck its first major post-Brexit trade pact after signing a deal with Japan that aims to boost trade between the countries by about £15bn. But ultimately, this deal largely mirrors the agreement which already exists between the EU and Japan.

The European Union and Japan are on course to sign a trade agreement on Thursday, which would give both parties better access to core industries such as

Late on Thursday, the leaders of France, Belgium and the Netherlands called on the bloc to make contingency plans in case a deal fails to materialize. Envoys from the bloc’s 27 member states were told at a meeting in Brussels the following day that the U.K. hadn’t offered sufficient compromises.

Completed Texts

The negotiating teams are more optimistic than the messaging to EU governments would suggest, although some major capitals still have their doubts over whether Johnson will play ball.

In a sign of the progress made, the legal text of agreements on all subjects except the three most contentious ones have been drafted. Officials said sections on state aid -- where the EU wants the U.K.’s subsidy control policy to be set out in the treaty and for it to be overseen by an independent regulator -- are almost complete.

But several issues are inter-linked. Disagreements persist not only on the technicalities of fishing access, but also on the EU’s insistence that it forms part of the overall dispute-resolution mechanism. That way, either side could impose trade penalties if the other broke the agreement on fish.

Officials said many factors over the next few days will determine when and whether a deal is done -- including the availability of senior figures, which has added an additional last-minute complication. Barnier will probably stay in quarantine until Nov. 26, and is likely to travel to London for the final round of talks.

“After difficult weeks with very, very slow progress, now we’ve seen in the last days better progress,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told reporters in Brussels on Friday. “But there are quite some meters to the finish line.”

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