The negotiations between the United Kingdom and Europe to reach a trade agreement post-Brexit will resume Monday in the british capital, but the chances of arriving at a compromise is narrowing, so that the deadline set by London is getting closer.
The United Kingdom welcomes Monday, the european negotiator, Michel Barnier, after a first round of interviews the previous week in Brussels, to which both parties had ended a day early due to ” serious differences “, was announced by Mr Barnier. His british counterpart, David Frost, had him referred to ” significant differences “.
Out of the EU on January 31 after 47 years of marriage, stormy, the United Kingdom is negotiating with Brussels to try to establish a business relationship which is advantageous with the european bloc at the end of the transition period, set at 31 December.
The discussions have so far not allowed actual advanced while the deadline is fast approaching, and with it the risk of a “no deal” devastating to economies already very weakened by the pandemic of novel coronavirus.
The 27-nation bloc “should prepare for the possibility that an agreement is not concluded,” warned the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, taking Wednesday over the european presidency.
This issue scares the british companies, who wish to be informed as soon as possible of the possibility or not of an agreement, to initiate promptly an expensive contingency plan in the event of a ” no deal “.
The british prime minister Boris Johnson wants to be fixed as soon as July on the possibility of this agreement, and the Europeans are aiming for the month of October, believing that this gives sufficient time to the member States and the United Kingdom to ratify the treaty on their new relationship, which would enter into force on January 1, 2021.
Litany of disputes
A few weeks from the deadline set by the conservative prime minister, the differences between the two parties remain significant.
London refused to accept that the future trade disputes fall under the jurisdiction of the european Court of justice. The United Kingdom also wish that a much larger share of the fishing areas that it currently shares with the block 27 it is reserved.
The other sticking point of the negotiations focuses on the margin of autonomy in the United Kingdom compared with european standards in the field of state aid to the economy, environment and employment law.
The negotiations, which open in London on Monday will seek to speed things up, after a difficult week in Brussels, and a first part of the discussion that had taken place in the spring via video conferencing, due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus.
If the two parties do not agree, only the rules of the world trade Organization (WTO), with their high tariffs, would apply from January 2021 to the commercial relationship between these former partners.