Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator has reportedly told Boris Johnson that a trade deal could be reached with the EU by Tuesday, though serious differences have yet to be resolved.
David Frost was quoted by the Sun newspaper as telling the Prime Minister that there is a ‘possible landing zone’ between the UK and European Union within the next week, saying that over the last few days progress has been made. However, Johnson’s official spokesman has warned that ‘significant differences do remain’ and ‘key elements’ haven’t been agreed between the two sides.
Michel Barnier, the EU’s top negotiator, tweeted on Monday that his ‘team is continuing negotiations in Brussels’ with their London counterparts, saying that ‘We remain determined, patient, respectful’. An EU official has said that the UK has been denied a deal similar to Canada’s agreement with the bloc, which they had long pursued, due to Britain’s proximity to other member states.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that ‘Red Line’ issues in negotiations such as fishing rights and state aid have not yet been settled between both sides. Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, explained that the EU wants access to 50% of Britain’s fishing waters while the UK only wants to concede 20%. He continued that this was ‘move week’ for negotiations, and believes that reaching a deal is ‘doable’. Environmental Secretary George Eustice said that the UK cannot be the ‘only country in the world that doesn’t control its own waters’.
Britain is scheduled to officially leave the single market on December 31st, which Johnson has previously asserted will happen regardless of whether a deal has been agreed. If Britain leaves without a deal, they will immediately revert to the rules set by the World Trading Organisation (WTO).
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