Negotiations between the EU and the UK to reach a post-Brexit trade deal but the level-playing field and fisheries remain problematic
“Fair competition and a sustainable solution for our fishermen and women, are key to reaching a deal” tweeted EU Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier today.
Nearly 24 hours on from the joint statement from EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and British PM Boris Johnson, which stated that both sides would indeed continue negotiations in order to find a solution to a trade deal between the EU and the UK before the 31 January next, Mr Barnier reiterated his commitment to finding a solution.
He tweeted, “It is our responsibility to give the talks every chance of success.
“Never has a such a comprehensive agreement (trade, energy, fisheries, transport, police & judicial cooperation, etc,) been negotiated so transparently and in such little time.
“The next few days are important, if an EU/UK deal is to be in place on 1 January 2021.
“Fair competition and a sustainable solution for our fishermen and women, are key to reaching a deal”
George Parker, Political Editor with the Financial Times noted that the language coming from Downing Street is slightly more positive on a deal being reached as no-deal “remains the likely outcome” from the language of “strong possibility” or “very unlikely” which had been used last week and over the weekend.
Time is running out for the EU and UK to reach an agreement, with the ‘level-playing field’, governance and fisheries remain the negotiations sticking point in the post-Brexit world. Even if a deal is reached in the next few days, it will be impossible for the parliaments of Member States and functional institutions of the European Union to ratify the deal and have it implemented by 01 January.
This has led to the belief that there could be a short no-deal period at the beginning of January as the deal is agreed upon by the 27 remaining EU Member States.
It is believed that the European Commission had examined other ways to implement the provisional agreement to allow it to be in force by 01 January 2021 but the only way possible to implement, even the provisional agreement itself, is through ratification by the Member States.
This would lead to a period of time where a no-deal would come into effect. It has not been clarified whether EU fishing vessels would continue to have mutual access to UK waters, or vice-versa, over that period which is thought to be the month of January.