Post-Brexit trade talks paused amid 'significant divergences'

Daniel Fowler
December 5, 2020

In a further complicating factor, the UK Government is bringing back to the Commons legislation enabling it to override elements of Mr Johnson's "divorce" settlement with Brussels in breach of global law.

The Brexit transition period comes to an end on 31 December.

The Press Association reported that a senior United Kingdom government source claimed Brussels was calling for fresh concessions at the 11th hour and that the prospect of an agreement was "receding".

With less than four weeks left until Britain leaves the EU's orbit on December 31st, both sides have said the talks are stuck on three areas, with each calling for the other to compromise to secure a deal governing nearly $1 trillion of annual trade.

Berkeley said it was firmly on track to deliver its average annual pre-tax profit outlook of about 500 million pounds this fiscal year as pent-up demand and tax cuts for home buyers spurred demand.

British and European negotiators broke off their talks on a post-Brexit trade deal without agreement Friday and handed off the task of clearing the logjam to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen.

On Friday, France's Europe minister Charles Beaune publicly warned his country could veto any agreement if they were not happy with the terms.

With negotiators working through the day and night in London, Castex travelled to Boulogne-sur-Mer, in Pas-de-Calais, to advise representatives of the fishing industry that they should ready themselves for change.

"I do not have the impression that we are hours away from a deal. what has to be bridged is still quite substantial", the diplomat added. Castex said Europe's coastal communities would not be treated as a pawn in the wider trade and security talks. A new era is about to begin.

Former French president Giscard d`Estaing dies of Covid complications
The statement said, "The guidelines set by him for France are still determining our steps". Later, he said his defeat left him with "frustration at a job unfinished ".

Early on Wednesday, before the Brexit negotiations resumed, he addressed the 27 ambassadors to the European Union of the remaining member states by videolink.

British Business Secretary Alok Sharma said earlier on Friday that talks were "in a hard phase", while France warned it could veto any agreement it didn't like. "I want to see a deal done and I believe a deal is possible. We can't all be negotiators at the table, we've got to have faith and trust in the negotiating team to get a balanced deal over the line".

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, on a visit to Paris, said a deal would be possible in the coming days as long as European nations "hold our nerve".

"Very unsafe to assume if no deal now, there will be one in 1H 2021".

"We will see what will happen in the next days", he said in Brussels. Closing out a negotiation as complex as this one is never going to be easy.

"No surprises that final phases are full of tension".

But with time running out if the eventual accord is to be ratified before the end of the year and Britain's departure from the European Union single market, European Union capitals are getting cold feet.

Late choreographed drama on whether to reach a deal has always been inevitable, with both sides needing to demonstrate that any deal represents a hard-won victory.

A European diplomat told AFP that Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Denmark share France's concerns that in the rush to conclude a deal, Barnier will give too much ground on rules to maintain fair competition.

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