EU-UK post-Brexit trade talks remain at standstill

Monday, December 21, 2020 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Post-Brexit trade talks between Britain and the European Union remained grid-locked Sunday evening, even as there remain just days to go before the official transition period comes to an end on December 31, the Associated Press reports. In the event no agreement is reached by the end of the year, the two parties will default to trading on World Trade Organization terms, with all the tariffs and barriers that this will entail.

As the latest self-imposed deadline of Sunday came and went, the issue of fishing rights continued to be a sore sticking point between the UK and the remaining 27 EU member states, AP said.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants most of Britain’s shared waters to return to the use of UK vessels only; he says this is an essential part of what Britain voted for in the Brexit referendum. However, the EU says these waters have been shared for decades if not centuries and that it will slap on big import fees if Britain restricts fishing rights too much: this will be damaging for the UK seafood industry which relies heavily on the European market.

Officials on both sides told AP that the parties had barely moved from their positions Sunday. Johnson’s office said the EU is “continuing to make demands that are incompatible with our independence. We cannot accept a deal that doesn’t leave us in control of our own laws or waters.” EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier responded in a statement that both parties “have the right to set their own laws & control their own waters” but that “we should both be able to act when our interests are at stake.”

Both sides have agreed to resume talks on Monday.

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