The talks between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom Government for the post-Brexit negotiations, with the aim of reaching an agreement for the future commercial relationship, will last until next week and it is expected that a summit of leaders November 19 could be the last chance for an understanding.
“We are working hard to reach an agreement. The talks will continue in London over the weekend and will take place in Brussels next week, ”anticipated an EU spokesman, Daniel Ferrie.
Negotiations between London and Brussels were stalled by seemingly irreconcilable positions on fishing rights and the guarantee of “level playing field” to maintain fair competition between UK and EU companies.
The UK left the EU on January 31, but both sides agreed to a transition period until the end of this year to reach a free trade agreement, which so far has been difficult to finalize.
A European diplomat who is closely following the talks said today that despite the intensity of the dialogue “nothing has changed”, and that the UK had even backtracked from previous compromise positions.
“The agreement will have to be made in Brussels next week, otherwise there is no agreement,” warned the diplomat, for whom, quoted by the AFP news agency, a videoconference scheduled for next Thursday 18 would be the deadline.
This eventual deadline for reaching a commercial agreement by both parties is established two days after the British House of Lords rejected by a large majority an Internal Market law that contains clauses that would allow the agreement with the EU to be broken unilaterally on the border in Ireland, after Brexit.
In pre-withdrawal negotiations, both the UK and the EU recognized the exceptional situation in Ireland and Northern Ireland, and agreed that a specific solution was needed to avoid a rigid border and protect the 1998 agreement, which ended decades of conflict between pro and anti-British Northern Irishmen.
For Europeans, it is necessary to close the agreement soon to ensure its ratification and entry into force on January 1 next, when the final break occurs after the end of the transition period that opened after the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU. at the end of last January.
The new escalation of tension between the British government and the EU broke out last September when the former introduced the draft law on the internal market in Parliament.
Immediately, the EU called for the withdrawal of the initiative and considered it a damage “to confidence” that is built after the departure of the United Kingdom from the bloc.
The bill would scrap trade pacts on the border between the two Irlanders signed with Brussels earlier this year during Brexit negotiations.
As talks progress in London, UK Minister of State Michael Gove told the British parliament that “progress is being made, but disagreements persist.”