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Time is running out for Brexit trade deal, Britain and EU say


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Time is running out for Brexit trade deal, Britain and EU say

 

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FILE PHOTO: A British Union Jack flag flutters outside the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

 

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain and the European Union cautioned each other on Monday that time was running out for a Brexit trade deal as negotiators sparred over state aid, enforcement and fishing in a bid to avoid a tumultuous exit in just a month's time.

 

The United Kingdom finally leaves the EU's orbit on Dec. 31 when a transition period of informal membership ends, though both sides are rushing to hash out a deal that will govern nearly $1 trillion in trade.

 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is grappling with Europe's worst official death toll from COVID-19, says a deal would be preferable but that Britain would flourish without a deal when it goes it alone after 48 years of membership.

 

"We really are now running out of time. This is the crucial week -- we need to get a breakthrough," British Environment Secretary George Eustice told Sky, adding that if good progress was made this week then negotiations could be extended.

 

The EU delivered a similar message.

 

"We are running out of time here," said Ireland's Brexit supremo, Foreign Minister Simon Coveney. "The truth of Brexit is now being exposed in terms of the challenges of it."

 

After breaking all the deadlines imposed by both sides, the negotiators are still stuck on three main areas: fishing, state aid and how to resolve any future disputes. They have been stuck on those three issues for weeks.

 

A trade deal on goods would safeguard nearly $1 trillion in annual trade and buttress peace in British-ruled Northern Ireland, though some disruption is almost certain at the busiest EU-UK border points.

 

Talks between EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and British chief negotiator David Frost continued on Sunday. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it was a significant week for Brexit.

 

"David Frost had made clear that we're continuing the negotiations because we still think there is a prospect that we can get an agreement and while there is we should persevere with those," Eustice said.

 

FISH

 

Ireland's Coveney said this was a key week and that a deal could be done if there was give and take on both sides.

 

But he told Ireland's Newstalk Radio that a failure to agree on fishing rights could wreck a deal.

 

"If there isn't an agreement on this, the whole thing could fall on the back of it and that's the worry," he said.

 

While fishing alone contributed just 0.03% of British economic output in 2019, it is an emotive subject; many Brexit supporters see it as a symbol of the regained sovereignty they hope leaving the EU will bring. Combined with fish and shellfish processing, the sector makes up 0.1% of UK GDP.

 

Britain wants "zonal attachment" to agree a total allowable catch for the United Kingdom's waters - a step that would give it a much larger quota share than if the fish maths were worked out on the EU's proposals.

 

"All we're asking for ... is there to be annual negotiations based on the science and also for there to be a move towards a fairer, more scientific sharing methodology, which is called zonal attachment, which is broadly where the fish are to be found," Eustice told BBC radio.

 

"Under that analysis we currently only have access to about half of the fish in our own waters. That is profoundly unfair on our fishermen -- we've been clear throughout that needs to change."

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-11-30
 
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"We really are now running out of time. This is the crucial week -- we need to get a breakthrough," British Environment Secretary George Eustice told Sky, adding that if good progress was made this week then negotiations could be extended.

 

Please Michel, hold me back.

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1 hour ago, natway09 said:

The UK is in for 10 years of pain, unless you are a wealthy Brit

As the English so overwhelmingly voted for and confirmed by voting Boris Cummings again in Dec '19. Just a 31 days, and all from the UK is a "WTO-Third Country". Not only going inside the EU, but also a lot of countries the EU has agreements of. For instance: cars / lorries, whatever machines: when all components are over 90% of EU origin, it is imported there under the EU treaties for instance road building devices into Nigeria. UK outside the EU, and... no treaty, so the full WTO import duties.  

I wish you good luck with your fish quota, you first sold to EU fishermen, and you now want to confiscate back. Do not forget the EU allowance numbers when you want to export your fish into the EU.

Curious who the Australians are going to trust ? The British, who betrayed them so much when they slipped into the EU in 1973 as the "Poor man of Europe"?

A few months ago the EU in the French port of Calais did a trial with the new software: just 70 seconds to verify the documents of the incoming lorries. Result: a 7 km traffic jam. 

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13 hours ago, ardsong said:

so the hard border between Ireland and the province of UK , North Ireland, is not longer a point of discussion but rather a fact, be it with or without a deal; which could also block a trade agreement with the States of Biden.

 

Northern Ireland isn't a province

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4 minutes ago, 7by7 said:

We've left.

 

Blame Johnson putting his personal ambitions ahead of what's best for the country and his ERG backers. If not for them this would have all been over at least a year ago.

 

According to UK Fisheries, who know more about this than you or I, the UK imports most of the fish we eat, and exports most of the fish we catch. 

 

No doubt, even if tariffs make it more expensive. But will they buy ours when most of what we sell them can be sourced elsewhere or has, like the thousands of financial services jobs and £1 trillion worth of financial trade, already moved to the EU. Then there are the manufacturers warning they will probably have to leave the UK for the EU if there is no deal.

 

The level playing field works both ways.

 

Would you be happy if EU governments subsidised their exports to the UK in order to undercut UK companies and price them out of the market?

 

Or would you call that unfair tactics by the EU?

 

I suspect the latter.

 

We've left; and I'm sorry that we did. But the die is cast and we have to make the best of it.

 

Which means both sides using some give and take in the trade deal negotiations; which from various reports is happening more and more.

 

But many Brexiteers still want the impossible dream Vote.Leave promised them in 2016: the EU to do all the giving and the UK all the taking!

 

Actually the EU does subsidize poorer member states and funds the movement of businesses and jobs to those countries from wealthier states. It also, when considered appropriate, turns a blind eye to state subsidies from some of the supposed wealthier countries who dress up protection of certain industries.

 

This is usually brushed off with comments about bringing up the poorer countries to the wealth of the richer ones. 

 

Check out who gets more out than they contribute; over years for a clearer picture. And who protects certain industries.

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3 hours ago, puipuitom said:

As the English so overwhelmingly voted for and confirmed by voting Boris Cummings again in Dec '19. Just a 31 days, and all from the UK is a "WTO-Third Country". Not only going inside the EU, but also a lot of countries the EU has agreements of. For instance: cars / lorries, whatever machines: when all components are over 90% of EU origin, it is imported there under the EU treaties for instance road building devices into Nigeria. UK outside the EU, and... no treaty, so the full WTO import duties.  

I wish you good luck with your fish quota, you first sold to EU fishermen, and you now want to confiscate back. Do not forget the EU allowance numbers when you want to export your fish into the EU.

Curious who the Australians are going to trust ? The British, who betrayed them so much when they slipped into the EU in 1973 as the "Poor man of Europe"?

A few months ago the EU in the French port of Calais did a trial with the new software: just 70 seconds to verify the documents of the incoming lorries. Result: a 7 km traffic jam. 

 

Your either being sarcastic or simply have little factual knowledge.

 

Maybe you should start by looking at which country has actually left the UK and how that decision was arrived at. Then you might research the history of France, and their sometimes rather colorful interpretation and implementation of EU rules, when it suits.

 

Poland and Hungary are looking likely to fester soon, as France tries to lay down the law for all member states hoping Germany doesn't mind!

 

Most countries are in the EU for what they can get out of it, not for the common good or what they can put in. Another failed experiment in human nature.

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