Left Menu
Development News Edition

Blink or no Brexit deal, both UK and EU tell each other

Reuters | Brussels | Updated: 15-05-2020 18:15 IST | Created: 15-05-2020 17:52 IST
Blink or no Brexit deal, both UK and EU tell each other
Representative Image Image Credit: ANI

Britain and the European Union traded threats on Friday over a Brexit free trade deal, warning that unless the other side gave ground there would be no deal - a scenario that would convulse global trade as the world aims to exit the coronavirus lockdown. The United Kingdom left the European Union on Jan. 31 but the main terms of its membership remain in place for a transition period until the end of this year, giving it time to negotiate a free trade deal with the bloc.

Thus far, talks have not gone well. "We made very little progress towards agreement on the most significant outstanding issues between us," UK chief negotiator David Frost said after a week of talks.

The main sticking point has been so-called 'level playing field' rules to harmonize regulation, which the EU says are needed to ensure Britain does not undercut its standards, but which Britain rejects as binding it to European laws. Frost said the major obstacle to a deal was the EU's insistence on including a set of "novel and unbalanced" proposals on the level playing field.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said Britain had refused to engage in full conversation about the issue, and that there had been little progress. "As soon as the EU recognizes that we will not conclude an agreement on that basis, we will be able to make progress," Frost said. "We very much need a change in the EU approach for the next round beginning on 1 June."

EU sources said there had been little progress on the negotiations that will shape post-Brexit trade between the EU and Britain in almost everything from fishing and farming to pharmaceutical rules and tariffs. "Both sides agreed to disagree," said one diplomat following Brexit in the EU hub Brussels as the penultimate round of scheduled negotiations wrapped up on Friday before a deadline at the end of June.

Both sides are then due to assess progress so far and agree on whether to extend the talks, which London has refused to do.

BREXIT NO DEAL?

After years of Brexit political chaos in London, investors and companies are trying to work out if London and Brussels are simply ratcheting up the rhetoric or are so far apart that there could be a cliff-edge at the end of 2020. Time is ticking and the EU has a strict timetable. With no extension, the EU says any talks would need to wrap up around October to allow enough time for ratification of any new deal by the bloc's parliament and the 27 national capitals.

EU sources said fundamental disagreements persisted on the level playing field guarantees of fair competition, fisheries, and oversight role of the EU's top court, among other issues. Goldman Sachs said it still expected a minimalistic trade deal to be sealed this year, which would give Johnson the opportunity to publicly declare his mission of leaving the EU's orbit accomplished.

However, the investment bank also said unresolved issues could be pushed into a new "implementation phase" of any new trade deal, meaning some EU rules would continue applying to Britain beyond the end of this year. Negotiations on many aspects of a broader new relationship would de facto continue.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Why COVID-19 is unstoppable in USA despite it being ranked at the top of GHS Index?

Several worst-hit countries such as Italy, France, Spain, the UK, Canada, and Russia have peaked COVID-19 cases in April. Almost all of them have gradually flattened the curve. However, the USA is setting new daily records of infections tha...

COVID-19 seems cooking biggest ever global scam

The increasing number of corruption cases on COVID-19 funds from throughout the world and involvement of high profile persons indicate that the countries cant ignore corruption in their pandemic response programs. This has generated the nee...

Health Management Information Systems lack holistic, integrated, and pandemic resilient character

Being a part of the United Nations system, the World Health Organization WHO deserves its share of rebuke for its alleged failure issue COVID-19 health emergency alerts on appropriate time. However, the pandemic has also exposed loopholes i...

Pride in the time of coronavirus: a welcome move online?

This year is different in many ways not least as celebrations are also taking place against the dramatic backdrop of a global health crisis and a resurgence in grassroots activism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. ...

Videos

Latest News

Police file case against 20 protesting fishermen

Cases against 20 fishermen have been registered in connection with their agitation at Tarangambadi in Nagapattinam district during which an inspector sustained injuries, police said on Saturday. Thousands of fishermen from villages in Sirka...

2-day total lockdown in Shillong from Monday

The Meghalaya government on Saturday announced a two-day total lockdown in capital Shillong from Monday after the state reported the highest single-day spike of 97 COVID-19 cases. Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said that the decision was ta...

Jharkhand CM, wife test negative for COVID-19

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren and his wife Kalpana tested negative for COVID-19 on Saturday, an official statement said. Earlier in the day, health workers had collected swab samples of Soren and his wife, and some officials working...

Relieved that Bagan's jersey and logo have been retained: former star Jose Barreto

Former Mohun Bagan star Jose Barreto is relieved that the clubs iconic green and maroon jersey and logo have been retained as they prepare to play in their maiden ISL as ATK Mohun Bagan. Barreto, who has served Mohun Bagan with distinction,...

Give Feedback