BRUSSELS – Negotiators moved closer to an agreement on the future relations of Britain and the EU, officials on both sides said, although they stayed far away on a major stumbling block: access to British waters by EU boats.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told EU presidents that with more than two weeks to cover and confirm economic, trade and security arrangements, it is impossible to say with certainty whether An agreement is in place.
Failure to reach a deal will mean January. The 1st tariff will apply for some trade between the UK and the EU for the first time in nearly half a century. The UK sends 43% of its exports to the block.
But echoing the views of those involved in the talks in the comments, Mrs von der Leyen examines a range of issues where both sides have settled or settled differences related to the central EU demand: the UK for standards on such issues Committed. State aid, labor and environmental regulation that will ensure fair competition after Britain leaves the bloc.
This includes defining UK state aid decisions and the rules surrounding their enforcement and the EU’s ability to take punitive action if the agreement is dissolved.
Mrs von der Leyen also said that the two sides agreed on “a strong mechanism” to ensure that Britain could not go below its current regulatory standards and cited progress in the deal’s governance , Including how widely one side can be if the other breaks its terms then retaliate.
However, Mrs von der Leyen, who has been increasingly attracted to talks in recent weeks, warned that at the fishery, the divisions were still wavering.
“We do not question the sovereignty of the UK on our own waters, but we ask for predictability and stability for our fishermen and our fishermen,” she said. “And in all honesty, it sometimes feels like we won’t be able to solve this question.”
The position of the two parties on fishing has increased slightly since negotiations began in the spring.
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last week that no British Prime Minister could accept an agreement that would leave the country without “sovereign control over fishing waters”.
The political significance of the issue dwarfs its economic impact. The fishing sector in the UK was worth $ 750 million, equivalent to $ 1.01 billion in 2018, on some 6,000 ships, which employ about 12,000 people. The EU fishing sector had a gross value of € 4.3 billion in 2019, equivalent to $ 5.23 billion, of which € 550 million comes from British waters. For both economies, the sector accounts for about 0.03% of GDP.
However, in the coastal states of Britain and the European Union, the control of historic fishing waters is a politically galvanizing issue. The pro-Brexit side made fishing freedom a central issue, one of its major cheerleaders, Nigel Faraj, built a flotilla of fishing vessels along the River Thames in the final days of the 2016 referendum campaign. The northwestern coastal region of France is a political battleground for President Emmanuel Macron.
The UK is seeking to bring about a sweeping change in fishing relations with the European Union, stating that any agreement must accept Britain’s sovereignty over its waters and the EU’s ultimate right to block fishermen needed.
The UK has offered a shorter transition period for a new set of arrangements that would lead to a significant increase in the quota of fish caught in UK waters by UK-controlled vessels. Currently, non-British vessels catch more than half their fish in their waters. London wants the original fishing changes following the agreement to be carried forward to the agreement and annual negotiations, which will establish exact shares for the fishing states of the UK and the European Union, including France, Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands .
The European Union has acknowledged that the post-Brexit deal would increase the quota for UK fishermen, but only modest increases are expected after a decade of change. It seeks agreed future quotas in multiyear periods to provide certainty for the sector.
Mr Macron has warned that French fishermen will not pay the price of Brexit, and French authorities have threatened to veto an agreement that would make its fleet worse.
Some officials suspect that differences over fishing will eventually prevent a deal.
Without the deal, fishing areas on both sides would suffer major pain. British authorities last week considered sending naval ships to keep non-British boats out of Britain’s waters if no deal was reached. The European Union will be able to slap large tariffs on UK fish exports, accounting for about 75% of fish caught from UK vessels.
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