Post-Brexit trade negotiation negotiations will proceed over the weekend, advising both sides that the odds of a deal remain in limbo.
The talks are still “ongoing,” both Downing Street and the European Commission said, but there are still major gaps over fisheries and so-called “level playing field” laws.
Before the new Brexit transition period ends Dec. 31, the European Parliament is calling for a settlement by Sunday so that it can ratify any agreement.
The Brexit trade agreement decision must be taken on Sunday: Brian Donnelly
Boris Johnson has called on the EU (Yui/Mok/PA) to “come to its senses”
However, it is thought that if talks proceed beyond this stage, EU leaders could provisionally rubber stamp the agreement, with formal ratification taking place in the new year.
If a compromise can be made in the final days of the year, MPs are poised to return to Westminster from their Christmas break.
Boris Johnson and the chief negotiator of the EU, Michel Barnier, both played down the chances for a breakthrough on Friday.
The Prime Minister said it was “difficult” to negotiate and called on the EU to “come to its senses” and bring something new to the table.
Barnier told the European Parliament earlier that the talks were reaching a “moment of truth” and that “very narrow.” was the road to an agreement.
‘Optimistic’ for Michael Gove to enter a post-Brexit trade agreement
If by Dec. 31 there is no agreement, the U.K. It will exit the Single Market and the Customs Union and will start trading with the EU under the terms of the World Trade Organization – with the imposition of tariffs that will lead to higher prices in shops.
For the end of the transition phase (Jonathan Brady/PA) Hilary Benn has warned of the “general state of readiness” of the UK
Even with a contract, with new customs checks from Jan. 1, there will be major changes at the border, with lengthy delays feared if companies are not adequately prepared for the new regulations.
The Brexit Committee of the House of Commons addressed a number of questions about the ‘overall state of preparedness’ in the UK with less than two weeks to go before the changeover.
A study published Saturday said that decisions were taken “too late,” while contact with corporations was “at best patchy.”
Committee chairwoman Hilary Benn said the government was still unable to provide “certainty” to businesses, retailers and people about what will happen.
“With only seven working days until the end of the transition period, significant concerns remain,” he said.
The government must be able at this late stage to enact contingency measures to minimize the effects of disruptions.
“Failure to do so would mean the worst possible start to the new year for many people and businesses who are already experiencing the most difficult times.”