The prospect of a “no deal” approaches dangerously. Despite a week of intensive discussions in London, the terms of a post-Brexit deal between the European Union (EU) and the UK “are not met” Due to “significant differences on fair competition, governance and fisheries“, Announced Friday evening the European negotiator Michel Barnier on Twitter.
The negotiators agreed to do “pause” in discussions. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will “an inventory” discussions on Saturday afternoon, he added.
After one week of intense negotiations in London, together with @DavidGHFrost, we agreed today that the conditions for an agreement are not met, due to significant divergences on level playing field, governance and fisheries.
– Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) December 4, 2020
If Brexit formally occurred on January 31, a transition period that freezes its effects then began to allow the two parties to agree on their future relations, in particular trade. It ends on December 31. After this period, the divorce will become reality, with or without an agreement.
With less than a month to go before the breakup, several European officials had previously hinted that a deal could be reached this weekend, as London judged the talks still “very difficult” and said he was determined to restore his sovereignty. The French government has threatened to veto a possible deal that does not satisfy it.
“I want to believe that we will have a good agreement. To have a good agreement, the best is to be frank. We have always been transparent, sometimes the British a little less, about our interests”, explained Clément Beaune, Secretary of State for European Affairs, on Europe 1.
“We must prepare for a risk of ‘no deal’, that is to say that on December 31, we no longer have free access to the British market, and vice versa. But this is not what we want and the negotiations as we speak are continuing “, he stressed again.
The President of the European Council recalled the schedule on Friday morning during a press conference: the next council will bring together the heads of state and government by videoconference next Thursday and Friday. This will be the last opportunity for them to take a stand, unless there is yet another modification of the deadlines in this soap opera which has lasted for four and a half years. According to a European official, the Twenty-Seven could meet again after the European Council next week.