Talks between the UK and EU over a post-Brexit trade deal entered into third round last week ahead of a decisive summit next month.
Both sides are in fact due to decide by the end of June (deadline is July 1st) whether the current deadline for negotiating an agreement should be extended beyond the end of December.
For the time being, little has changed.
UK and EU are essentially accusing each other of moving the goalposts and backing away from the commitment in the non-binding political declaration they both signed.
What are Main issues
- One of the major points is the “level playing field” for businesses.
Both sides agreed last year to develop common rules and standards to prevent British businesses from undercutting their European competitors, and vice-versa.
However, it seems there’s a different interpretation of what was agreed.
- They are debiting on fisheries too
The British government wants “annual negotiations” on access to U.K. waters. However, EU fishermen, who rely on being able to fish in U.K. are concerned they will have limited, if any, access to the U.K.
- They also seem to disagree about the implementation of previous agreements. (e.g. hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland)
On Tuesday, (The European Commission published its version two months ago) the UK government published 13 documents describing the approach to the future relationship with the EU along with a draft of a free trade agreement based on previous EU agreements with other countries such as Canada, Japan and South Korea.
A variety of imported products will be cheaper after 1 January. The government says tariffs will be scrapped altogether on £30bn of imports But if no deal is done with the EU, then the price of cars and food imported from Europe will suddenly become considerably more expensive
UK Cabined office Minister Michael Gove said the talks there are “significant differences of principle”, and it “remained difficult to reach a mutually beneficial agreement”. “The EU essentially wants us to obey the rules of their club, even though we are no longer members, and they want the same access to our fishing grounds as they currently have, while restricting our access to their markets.
The EU’s EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has suggested the UK’s demands are “not realistic” and warned of a looming stalemate.
In the meantime the Opposition parties including the Liberal Democrats and the SNP have both called on the UK government to extend the transition period beyond December and part of the European countries are convinced Boris Jonson will blink first.
To be continued…
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