British Prime Minister Johnson speaks to EU chief as Brexit talks stall
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: UK Prime Minister Johnson attends a press conference in London
LONDON (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will speak to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday to try to break an impasse in trade talks when the time runs out before the UK exits the Block completed.
UK and EU negotiators suspended trade talks on Friday to call on their leaders to try to fill the gaps and reach an agreement after a week of negotiations failed to bridge “significant differences” between the two sides.
The UK left the EU on January 31st, but the rules of trade, travel and business have remained unchanged during a transition period ending December 31st when a new relationship is established – with or without a deal.
“We remain calm as always and if there is still a way to go, we’ll see,” EU negotiator Michel Barnier told the broadcasters in London as he entered the station to return to Brussels after a break.
It was the final turn in months of negotiations that have barely addressed the three most sensitive issues – fisheries, ensuring fair guarantees of competition and how to resolve future disputes.
Sources on both sides said the stall was centered on French claims for fishing rights in British waters.
But neither side has said goodbye to the talks, suggesting they still have hope of a deal that will settle nearly $ 1 trillion in annual trade to put a disorderly end to Britain’s 40+ year membership in Europe Avoid club.
If both sides fail to reach an agreement, the five-year Brexit divorce will end in chaos, just as the UK and Europe grapple with the huge economic costs of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Without a trade agreement, the UK would trade with the EU on World Trade Organization terms, which would lead to new tariffs and potentially significant price increases for some goods.
A no-deal exit is the nightmare scenario for companies and investors who say it growls borders, scares financial markets, and sows chaos through supply chains that stretch across Europe and beyond.
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