Post-Brexit trade agreement talks with the U.K. And in Brussels, the European Union continues to report that an agreement could be reached this week.
Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, is alleged to have told diplomats that the UK is The Daily Telegraph notes that it has come closer to the bloc’s demands for a level playing field.
Reportedly, Barnier told the ambassadors that the U.K. A ‘compensation scheme’ was agreed, which means that if it strays too far from EU laws, it might face tariffs.
The Guardian announced that President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission said that “movement” had occurred and that talks were “on the very last mile.”
Negotiations between the two parties were extended on Sunday after Boris Johnson and Ms. von der Leyen decided, despite considerable remaining disagreements, to continue the process.
Before resuming talks on Monday with his British counterpart, Lord Frost, Barnier briefed diplomats from the 27 EU states on progress.
(Stefan Rousseau/PA) by Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen.
Negotiations will continue in the Belgian capital on Tuesday.
The negotiations have been at an impasse over fishing rights for months, a ‘level playing field’ to ensure that neither party can unfairly compete with the other on environmental standards, workers’ rights or government subsidies, and the legal frameworks regulating any compromise.
Barnier said that if an agreement is to be in place by Jan. 1, the “next few days” are critical.
“It is our responsibility to give the talks every chance to succeed,” he said.
“Never before has such a comprehensive agreement (trade, energy, fisheries, transport, police and judicial cooperation, etc.) been negotiated so transparently and in such a short time.”
Michel Barnier (Victoria Jones/PA)
A spokesman for the grouping of EU ambassadors said there was “full support for the resilient and tenacious” negotiating team led by Michel Barnier.
The U.K.’s current trade deals with the EU expire at the end of the month, meaning any new agreement must be in place by Jan. 1.
If not, tariffs and quotas will apply and bureaucracy will increase, inflicting further damage on an economy already ravaged by the corona virus.
The need for any agreement to be approved by Parliament means that talks cannot continue until New Year’s Eve, but MPs are bracing for the prospect of a session over the holidays.