Irish PM hopeful of Brexit trade deal outline by end of week

Cornelia Mascio
Ноября 24, 2020

"I would be hopeful that, by the end of this week, that we could see the outlines of a deal, but that remains to be seen", Martin said during a visit to Dublin port.

Both sides are struggling to have a Brexit deal before the December 31 deadline with the latest halt in the negotiations came due to the EU's Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier's team member testing positive on the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Despite the remaining challenges, which have been described by European Union negotiators as "fundamental divergences", Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin has expressed hope that European Union leaders will be presented with, at least, a draft Brexit trade deal by the end of this week.

The resumption of negotiations follows technical discussions over the weekend.

Following the U.K.'s withdrawal from the European Union in January, Ottawa and London agreed to let the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA-the bilateral trade deal in effect between Canada and the EU since 2017-continue to apply to Canada-U.K. trade until the end of this year.

Boris Johnson said the extension was "a fantastic agreement for Britain", adding: "Our negotiators have been working flat out to secure trade deals for the United Kingdom and from as early next year we have agreed to start work on a new, bespoke trade deal with Canada that will go even further in meeting the needs of our economy".

Mr Barnier said: "Time is short".

Problematic issues including fishing rights, the "level playing field" aimed at preventing unfair competition in areas such as workers' rights and state subsidies and the governance of any deal are yet to be resolved.

Mr Johnson said the two nations had strong rivalries in sport, but "there is a huge amount that unites us".

According to British media reports on Monday, Johnson is expected to speak to von der Leyen in an attempt to address the current barriers to a Brexit trade deal ahead of the new deadline next Tuesday.

"And, I am delighted that we are doing a deal, I hope that we will be able to conclude a deal, that will see, finally, the people of Britain able to access the supplies of Tim Tams - Tim Tam chocolate biscuits - in the quantities that we need".

Announcing the deal, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "This is a fantastic agreement for Britain which secures transatlantic trade with one of our closest allies".

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