Brexit talks resume after deadlock breaks

Cornelia Mascio
Ottobre 23, 2020

The UK and the European Union are calling on each other to compromise ahead of the looming December deadline for a deal, with key sticking points including fishing rights and post-Brexit competition rules.

Japan and the United Kingdom signed a post-Brexit bilateral free trade agreement Friday, paving the way for its implementation January 1 next year to ensure continuity in trade and investment beyond the end of London's transition period out of the European Union.

At the same time, they noted it was "entirely possible that negotiations will not succeed".

The negotiations had been in limbo after Boris Johnson's deadline for a deal passed last week.

The main stumbling blocks remain fishing rights, the governance of any deal and the "level playing field" aimed at preventing unfair competition, which includes state subsidies.

The two countries had negotiated the deal as the Japan-EU pact will not cover the United Kingdom after the completion of the Brexit transition period in December. "Our doors will remain open until the very end", he told MEPs. The round is to last four days.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier told the European Parliament on Wednesday he believes that despite the difficulties, an agreement is within reach if both sides are ready to work in a constructive manner with the aim of compromise.

Following the call, a Downing Street spokesperson said Barnier had acknowledged its position.

A Number 10 spokesman said: "We welcome the fact that Mr Barnier acknowledged both points this morning, and additionally that movement would be needed from both sides in the talks if agreement was to be reached". As he made clear, "any future agreement will be made in respect of the decision-making autonomy of the European Union and with respect for British sovereignty".

Brexit negotiators broke the ongoing deadlock Wednesday afternoon and agreed to resume talks this week.

After launching the negotiations in June, Motegi and Truss reached a substantial agreement on most areas in August following talks in London and clinched an agreement in principle in September via videoconference.

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