Tag: David Frost

Brexit deal enters decisive phase, no certainty visible on cards

Brexit deal enters decisive phase, no certainty visible on cards

Brexit deal enters decisive phase: With just 36 days left in termination of UK’s transition period, the pressure started mounting on both the sides to finalise a deal. Despite the pressure, things didn’t seem to be moving towards finalisation and what followed was the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier threat to David Frost that he might pull out of the Brexit negotiations. Barnier told his counterpart that unless UK changed its approach in the ongoing negotiations in the next 48 hours, there might be a no deal between two sides. 

Barnier pointed out that it was pointless to take negotiations further unless Britain was was ready to agree and compromise on the key outstanding issues. Most of the legalities were complete but what was left was consensus over three key issues – fishing, standards and domestic subsidies, and dispute resolution.

Britain has been pushing for annual negotiation for allowing fishing in its territorial waters, and also proposed a “zonal attachment” system which divides fish species between the two sides as per to where the fish reside rather than the current division on the basis of fixed fishing patterns. Where as EU has been fighting against both annual negotiations and zonal attachment for it wants an amount of ‘certainty’ for its fishing community. 

Besides, both the sides have been struggling with how to decide on the future course of their relationship, for they both agreed on the need to “uphold the common high standards at the end of the transition period in the areas of state aid, competition, social and employment standards, environment, climate change and relevant tax matters”. But the matter is still hanging as the two have not found a common ground on how to define their current common high standards.

Brexiters have been wishing for a special trade and security deal with EU but all they believe EU has been offering is a regular trade deal wherein latter has more advantage over the former. Despite all the difference, what EU-Britain needs the most is a common resolution system to decide their disputes.

On Wednesday, while giving a speech in the European Parliament, the European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, said the EU was open to be “creative” in order to get a deal with the UK but emphasised that an agreement was difficult with “very little time ahead of us”. Barnier would be heading for London on Friday for the last round of negotiations with the UK. 

With regarding to the deal entering its last leg, EU president said, “These are decisive days for negotiations with the United Kingdom. But, frankly, I cannot tell you today if in the end, there will be a deal.”

“We will do all in our power to reach an agreement. We’re ready to be creative,” she said. “But we are not ready to put into question the integrity of the single market, the main safeguard for European prosperity and wealth.”

Von der Leyen said legal texts on judicial and social security coordination, trade in goods and services and transport were almost finalised. “However, there’s still three issues that can make the difference between a deal and no deal,” she added. 

No-Brexit deal concerns rise as transition period nears end

No-Brexit deal concerns rise as transition period nears end

No Brexit deal: Concerns over a no-Brexit deal increase as talks between EU and UK officials are dragging on 

Officials from both the European Union and the United Kingdom have expressed concerns over finalising a Brexit divorce deal, noting that the coming week is particularly crucial with less than 50 days left for the transition period to end. 

In the coming days, chief negotiators David Frost and Michel Barnier will try to bridge their differences as pressure over a Brexit agreement looms on. As talks with the European Union are dragging on, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing increased pressure as he faces a tricky time for his leadership. Amid this crucial week, Johnson is self-isolating at his official residency after coming in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. 

Negotiators from the UK and the EU are gathering in Brussels this week for more talks to find a solution to differences over fishing rights, governance and competition rules in their future deal. A number of informal deadlines for a trade agreement have already passed. Experts suggest that if these differences are not bridged by the end of this year, no trade agreement will be formalised which will eventually result in higher costs for exporters on both sides.

Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost on Sunday took to Twitter, saying that some progress has been made in a positive direction in recent days.

While Brussels officials are asserting that the UK Prime Minister must take the first step in reaching an agreement, their British counterparts are dismissing the stance. According to a report by The Guardian, senior officials have stated that Prime Minister Johnson is determined not to compromise over Britain’s terms for exiting the European Union.

The UK government is also fearing a power struggle after one of Boris Johnson’s closest aides, Lee Cain, announced his resignation as the Director of Communications last week. Dominic Cummings, another high-profile aide of the British PM, also left Downing Street on Saturday amid the power struggle. Both Mr Cummings and Mr Cain have been instrumental to the Brexit outcome as they worked with Johnson in the Vote Leave campaign during the 2016 European Union (EU) referendum.

It has been almost five years since the Brexit referendum campaign began and Britain and the EU negotiators have yet not worked out a deal to operate the nearly $1 billion in trade per year. Meanwhile, Ireland has said that there are around 7-10 days to figure out a way to unlock a trade agreement even as a senior EU official asserted that it may be too late to put a deal into force.

Britain Wants Sizable Share In Fishing Outputs From EU Coastal Nations

Britain Wants Sizable Share In Fishing Outputs From EU Coastal Nations

Britain Wants Sizable Share In Fishing Output: Michel Barnier is all in favour of a middle ground between the EU nations and Britain over fishing deals. However, the British PM is not happy with the 15percent of the total worth of fish that the fishermen catch. Mr. Boris Johnson has deemed the chief negotiator for Brussel’s deal as ‘not enough’ for the EU nations to make use of British waters for fishing. 

A joint meeting was conducted last week between Barnier and fisheries ministers from the coastal EU countries. These comprised Ireland, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, France and Sweden. It was decided that European nations would have to play a fair game if they wanted access to the British waters for their fishery trade to work smoothly. 

The agreed upon share of £90million is not seeming as an impressive share to Johnson.  According to Barnier’s official statement, EU would catch as much as €650million worth of fish from the British waters. According to the British negotiator David Frost, UK insists that the quota of share should be decided depending on where the fish stock originate. 

Anything more than the 15% would mean a sizable chunk to be shared by the coastal countries. According to analysts, EU member-states will try to do some burden sharing amongst themselves so not one single member-states takes all the pain of the quota loss. 

But the loss might be inevitable as Britain is not willing to accept Barnier’s terms laid out. The latter had been asked to ensure that he does his part of the deal; to ensure yield source is open to the coastal countries for them to be able to maintain their business as usual. France is being headstrong about the quota and the fact that Britain is showing its upper hand. However, the consensus in the EU is that Britain will get its say and probably its way through, and the coastal countries will have to figure a way out to move ahead.

EU, UK fail to reach Brexit breakthrough amid intense talks

EU, UK fail to reach Brexit breakthrough amid intense talks

Even after intensified negotiations between EU and UK, a Brexit breakthrough is still not in sight.

While trade talks have intensified between Britain and European Union negotiators in Brussels in recent days, a breakthrough in the Brexit deal is still not in sight. As per media reports, the EU and Britain have failed to reach an agreement on some of the most persistent points in the negotiations even after weeks of intensive talks in London. From differences over fisheries and protecting trillions of dollars of the trade from disruption to ensuring fair competition and settling disputes at all fronts, both sides are yet to set basic governance structure to proceed with the trade deal.

“There is some progress being made, but it’s far from concluded yet,” said Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney signaling that time may run out to strike a deal.

Recently, Brussels negotiators dismissed reports claiming that an agreement has been reached between the two sides on the fishing industry, with European officials confirming that the central issue is still open for talks. Brussels has also asserted that no future Brexit trade deal can be agreed upon with the United Kingdom if there is no deal on fishing.

Under the Withdrawal Agreement treaty signed by the UK and the EU in January, Northern Ireland will remain within the ambit of the EU customs union and will follow the bloc’s rules for its agricultural and manufactured goods. This decision was taken to maintain peace between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and to keep the border between the two sides open.

Noting that the clock is ticking, EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and his British counterpart David Frost are engaged in talks to finalize a trade deal such that it can be ratified by the end of this year.

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