- Post-Brexit trade talks between the European Union and Britain have entered their last day, in a final attempt to reach an agreement.
- Both parties warned that an agreement might not be reached.
- The conditions set by the European Union are still "unacceptable" to the United Kingdom, a government source said.
Post-Brexit trade talks between the European Union and Britain have entered their last day, in a final attempt to reach an agreement. Both parties warned that an agreement might not be reached. The conditions set by the European Union are still “unacceptable” to the United Kingdom, a government source said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to speak to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at a later time. And they had agreed a few days ago that Sunday would be the last day of the talks.
The most important point of the talks is the extent to which the UK will comply with EU economic rules in the future. The European Union is adamant that the UK should be denied the advantage of duty-free access to its market.
Fishing rights were another major point of difference in the talks; The European Union warns that if Britain prevents EU boats from entering its waters, British fishermen will not be allowed to enter the European Union markets in return to sell their wares.
But the United Kingdom argues that what goes on in its waters, and regarding the rules of its business sectors more generally, should be under its control as a sovereign state.
On Saturday, the British government confirmed preparations by the Royal Fleet to deal with any “threats of illegal fishing” in British waters if no agreement was reached.
The two sides also disagree on whether the European Court of Justice should adjudicate future trade disputes between Britain and the European Union.
It is not yet clear how any decision to abandon the talks will be announced, and there is a chance that political leaders will decide to continue negotiations after Sunday, according to the news sources.
Meanwhile, the National Farmers Union has warned of “significant damage” to the sector if the UK fails to reach a trade agreement with the European Union, which is Britain’s largest trading partner.
If an agreement is not reached, farmers will lose the benefit of free access to the European Union market “overnight”, an EU statement said.
On the other hand, the opposition Labor Party in Britain indicated that employment rates at the government’s customs agency had not witnessed a significant increase since the Brexit referendum. The UK is set to stop working with EU trade rules by December 31, 2020.
The United Kingdom left the European Union at the end of January 2020, but an 11-month transition period followed, with the aim of allowing the two parties to negotiate an agreement regulating the future relationship between the two parties.
Johnson and European Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen set a deadline for the talks on Sunday, after months of talks that failed to reach an agreement.
Johnson said the EU needed a “major change” in its stance on important points related to fishing rights and commercial competition rules. Von der Leyen said a no-deal exit was the most likely outcome of “difficult” talks.
The European Union rejects Johnson’s request to bypass the European Commission and to speak directly to both French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the outstanding issues.
According to European Union officials, Johnson was told that any talks should only take place through the Union’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier. Johnson said on Friday that a no-deal Brexit was very likely and that preparations for this outcome were well underway.
Von der Leyen told reporters that the two sides still “differ on fundamental issues”. If no agreement is reached, goods passing between Britain and the European Union will be subject to inspection and taxes at border points.