As the day of the cut approaches, EU-UK trade talks are about fish
BRUSSELS (AP) – With another Brexit deadline disappearing in the rearview mirror, progress on fisheries rights was elusive for the EU and Britain on Sunday – leaving both without a trade deal and a breakdown on New Year’s Day, slashing the cutting edge of the chaotic, costly economy.
With hundreds of thousands of jobs at stake across the economy, the small-scale fisheries sector has created a rift between the 27-nation bloc and the UK, highlighting the hostility that has driven them to a Brexit divorce over the past four years. Britain withdrew from the alliance in January, but the 11-month economic transition period ends on December 31.
“We continue to work hard,” EU chief negotiator Michael Barnier said in a statement as the light faded on EU headquarters on Sunday.
The Office of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson’s The European Union We cannot accept an agreement that does not place us in control of our own laws or waters. ”
Barnier did not question that both parties “have the right to set their own laws and control their own waters.” But he replied, “We can both act when our interests are at stake.”
Fighting words snatched away the hope that a deal could be found before midnight, when the European Parliament had set a deadline if there was enough time to approve and ratify the deal before the New Year. Officials on both sides said positions had rarely moved over the weekend of continuous talks.
A senior British government official said the two sides were “negotiating all day and looking forward to continuing tomorrow.” Talks are hard, there are significant differences. “
Top Brexit lawmakers in the European Parliament are due to meet on Wednesday to assess their options. The four-year strict divorce proceedings have been timed and missed throughout.
The almost mythical sense of Britain’s rights to rule its waves was a key part of moving the Brexiters to victory in the 2016 referendum. Johnson is trying to ensure that as much as possible of the shared British waters is now being withdrawn only to UK ships.
The EU has always maintained that it will punish Britain if it is deprived of many fishing rights, if not for decades, by imposing high import tariffs on Britain’s main market for seafood. Industry.
The stalemate has left overall negotiations with both businesses endless, which could save billions in costs for a deal. Johnson could not be summoned.
“We have to get exactly any deal based on terms that respect what the British people voted for,” his office said.
An EU Coast Guard official has said Britain is regaining full control of its waters due to Brexit. Britain is also adamant that the 3-year transition period under the new rules for EU fishermen will be longer, while the EU wants at least six years.
The official spoke anonymously as talks were still ongoing.
Failure to reach a post-Brexit agreement could lead to more chaos in Britain’s borders with the EU in early 2021, and new tariffs will impose other barriers to trade between the two sides. Negotiations have been embroiled in two major issues in recent days – EU access to UK fishing waters and a guarantee of fair competition between businesses.
A trade agreement will ensure that there are no fees or quotas in the trade of goods between the two parties, but there will still be technical costs, partly related to customs checks and non-tariff restrictions on services.
Although both sides will suffer financially from the failure to reach a trade agreement, most economists expect the British economy to have a major success, at least in the near future, as it is relatively dependent on trade with the EU.
The report was contributed by Jill Lales from London.
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