Brexit trade deal: Downing Street and EU fight at the last minute over fish

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Bulletin of Industry

Trade deal talks between the United Kingdom and the European Union proceed in the face of widespread expectations that an agreement is imminent.

Details of fishing rights were the focus of the talks in Brussels, but both sides suggested that an agreement would be announced on Christmas Eve, marking the end of months of fighting just a week before the existing trade agreements expire.

In recent days, Boris Johnson has been in close touch with President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission, as attempts to bring the agreement over the line have escalated at the highest levels.

To finalize the deal, the two are scheduled to have a phone call on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Eve, Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen will announce the Brexit trade agreement.

On Wednesday night, the EU and Downing Street were ready to announce an agreement, but that was postponed as the last-minute wrangling continued.

Throughout the night, talks continued, fuelled by a late pizza delivery.

A British source said on Thursday morning that “they are still negotiating on fish” – the topic that has become one of the main stumbling blocks to an agreement.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney told RTE radio station that the fine printing of the Fisheries Agreement had been “some kind of last-minute problem” but an agreement was still planned.

In the U.K. An arrangement in which it will take back the right to land 25% of what the EU currently takes from British waters, phased over five and a half years, has reportedly been offered.

As the fight began to turn, French sources reported that, on both sides of the Channel, Britain had made “huge concessions,” particularly on fishing – a symbolically important question.

As a relief to business leaders, an agreement governing almost £ 670 billion worth of trade between Britain and the EU will arrive.

The economic shock of leaving the EU Single Market and the Customs Union will be alleviated if, as planned, trade without tariffs and quotas is provided for.

Leaving the EU trade regime, however, would lead to a rise in bureaucracy.

The Office for Budget Accountability estimated that a no-deal Brexit could reduce by 2% the gross domestic product – a measure of the size of the economy – by 2021, adding to the harm already caused by the coronavirus to jobs and livelihoods.

However, the specifics of the agreement – which is estimated to be nearly 2,000 pages long – will be scrutinized closely to see if the two parties have compromised.

It is not believed that the Labour Party would reject the deal – Sir Keir Starmer stressed that it will be in the national interest to have an agreement with the EU.

Hilary Benn, Chair of the Labour Committee of the Commons on Potential EU Ties, told the BBC that he had “no doubt” that Parliament would accept the agreement because “the alternative would be a no deal, and you really can’t contemplate that.”

If an agreement is agreed, the 27 EU member states will have to accept it.

MEPs will be reminded of their Christmas break to vote on a compromise next week, but the European Parliament has said that before January 1 they will not have time to ratify any agreement – meaning that any agreement is likely to be provisional.

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Work on the Clydeside Marine Technology Park is starting.

Work on the project, described as the most risky financial factor in the plans to develop a marine technology center that would create nearly 1,000 jobs on the banks of the Clyde, is expected to commence in the first quarter of next year.

John MacSween, Managing Director of the Malin Group, said the announcement earlier this week of almost £ 2 million in public funding would enable construction to begin at the Old Kilpatrick site, where the new 47-acre Scottish Marine Technology Park (SMTP) is to be constructed.

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It looks like Christmas has come early for shareholders of a smart meter business as people in the UK prepare themselves for a year of great uncertainty.

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