After another round of consultations, EU coordinator in negotiations with the UK on the future relations of the parties, Michel Barnier, said that serious differences remain between Brussels and London. In a communiqué after the ninth round of talks, Barnier, noting a certain rapprochement of the parties' positions and a certain “positive evolution”, at the same time stressed “the existence of serious disagreements on issues of great importance for the European Union.” He listed the points of greatest concern on the part of the EU. Thus, according to Barnier, the new economic partnership between the EU and the UK should be based on clear rules of the game. These rules must be enforceable and credible, especially with regard to issues of government assistance, obligations to maintain good quality social, tax, environmental and climate regulations.
Also, future relationships require effective governance based on inclusive consent, which in turn relies on strong enforcement mechanisms, dispute resolution and effective remedies. “This demand, of course, is even more urgent because of the project of the British government to call into question the agreement on leaving the EU and the protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland through the adoption of the law on the internal market,” – said the chief negotiator of the European Union. Of particular importance, he believes, is the existence of “a stable, fair and sustainable fisheries agreement that allows the United Kingdom to develop its fisheries economy while ensuring the sustainability of resources and protecting the activities of European fishermen.” “To come to an agreement, these differences will need to be overcome in the coming weeks,” Barnier said.
On the eve of the European Commission (EC) announced the sending of a letter to the UK with an official notification of the violation of obligations under the Brexit agreement. “This is the first step in the infringement procedure. This letter invites the United Kingdom to communicate its observations to us within one month,” said EC President Ursula von der Leyen last Thursday. At the same time, she noted that the European Commission will continue to work for the full implementation and on time of the agreement on Britain's withdrawal from the EU.
In connection with the commencement of the legal procedure, Brussels recalls that Article 5 of the Brexit agreement states that the European Union and the United Kingdom “must take all necessary measures to ensure the fulfillment of the obligations arising from the withdrawal agreement and that they must refrain from any measures. that could jeopardize the achievement of these goals. ” The European Commission's demarche is based on the draft law on the internal market of the United Kingdom, the controversial provisions of which, changing the important obligations of the British side under the already concluded Brexit agreement, Brussels demanded to be withdrawn. However, the UK government has confirmed its intention to continue working on the bill.
The Brexit agreement has been ratified by both the EU and the UK. It entered into force on February 1, 2020 and is legally binding in accordance with international law. The agreement provides that, during the transitional period, the Court of Justice of the European Union has jurisdiction over both parties, and the European Commission has the powers conferred on it by EU law over the United Kingdom and with regard to the interpretation and application of this agreement.
Johnson gives EU responsibility for closing trade deal with Britain
The European Union is responsible for unblocking the trade deal and avoiding a “hard Brexit” at the end of the year, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. “I hope we will strike a deal, but it depends on our friends,” Johnson told the BBC after both sides concluded a series of talks. The prime minister believes that the EU can conclude the same trade deal with Britain as with Canada. “We have been members of the EU for 45 years. Everything depends only on them,” he added.
Johnson has repeatedly refused to extend the so-called transition period, despite tight negotiations and disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
It is planned that the UK and the EU should develop an agreement by the end of 2020 that will regulate the relationship between the parties after Brexit. However, all the latest rounds of negotiations have not brought significant success. London is concerned that the time to work out an agreement on the future relations of the UK with the EU after Brexit expires in mid-October, but a number of issues have not yet been resolved, said yesterday the chief negotiator of the British side, David Frost. “I am concerned that there is very little time left to resolve these issues in the run-up to the EU summit on October 15,” Western media quoted him as saying. He noted that after a week of negotiations with Barnier, “permanent serious differences” remain between the parties. Frost said that while the parties have made progress on many points in the agreement on future relations, there has been “limited progress” in ensuring fair competition and government subsidies, and progress on fisheries is impossible without a change in EU position. He specified that an agreement between London and Brussels is already possible in the areas of trade in goods and services, transport and energy.