Negotiations continuing with the hope that a trade deal can be reached if an agreement is reached on the issue of fisheries
DUBLIN: Negotiations between Britain and the European Union on a post-Brexit trade deal continue. With just days to go before the transition deadline, there are indications from both sides that the two sides may be ready to compromise. Although there is some agreement on the level playing field and governance, this is not the case with fishing. It is hoped that a trade agreement will be possible once this is agreed upon.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that a post – Brexit trade deal is possible if the EU is willing to recognize Britain as an independent sovereign state. He said the EU should only acknowledge Britain’s right to sovereignty. “Every hope I have (is) that our friends and partners across the Channel will see sense and do a deal,” he told the House of Commons. “The UK has a natural right, like every other country, to want to be able to control its own laws and its own fishing grounds,” he added.
President of the European Commission
The president of the European Commission has said that the post-Brexit trade agreement is a narrow one. “I cannot tell you whether there will be a [Brexit] deal or not, but I can tell you there is a path to an agreement. The path may be very narrow but it is there,” Ursula von der Leyen told MEPs.
Both sides have a responsibility to continue the discussion. The commission president said an agreement had been reached on most issues. It is less than three weeks before the end of the transition period and the end of EU law in the UK. Issues related to level playing field, fair competition and fisheries are still being discussed. But there is a lot of understanding in governance, including how to resolve issues and disputes between the two groups.
Issues related to state subsidies, employment, social and environmental standards remain at the level playing field. Progress has also been made on the issue of state assistance. This includes the ability of both parties to take action, both through and without tariffs, if trade defects are found. She said the issue related to fishing was hampering the talks. It is hoped that a deal will be reached if an agreement is reached in this regard.
“We do not question the UK’s sovereignty in its own waters, but we ask for predictability and stability for our fishermen and our fisherwomen, Ms. von der Leyen said. The commission president requested the European Parliament to be more flexible in the coming days in view of the difficulties in approving an agreement on time.
However, the statements of both leaders indicate that both sides are ready to compromise and reach an agreement.