UK PM Boris Johnson is set to make a “significant intervention” ahead of the new round of negotiations in the ongoing Brexit saga with the European Union. Talks between the Prime Minister and President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, are planned to finalize the long-awaited deal, with both sides confident of a positive outcome.
Documents leaked over the weekend would seem to support the belief among European Union officials that a Brexit deal is done, for all intent and purpose. “95 percent agreed” if the leaked documents are to be believed. That seems to fly in the face of reports that Mr. Johnson is unwilling to water down any of his demands.
Fisheries remain one of the main sticking points, with governance and competition rules making up the top-3 areas of contention.
Speaking about the fisheries issue, Nathalie Loiseau, one of French President Emmanuel Macron’s closest allies, described the European Union’s Common Fisheries Policy as a success, adding, “Why should we ruin something that works?”
It may well have been a success for the EU, but British fishermen view it is as nothing short of catastrophic for their industry. While the economic effects of changing the fisheries policy are a long way down on the EU budget worries, the bitter differences remain a contentious issue in the Brexit negotiations.
European Union leaders have set a deadline of Tuesday, December 1st, giving the two sides just over a week to hammer out a deal.
As if the discussions weren’t already complicated enough, things were made worse after a member of the EU negotiation team tested positive for coronavirus. Michael Barnier, the chief EU negotiator, said that due to this positive test, face to face talks between himself and his UK counterpart David Frost would be suspended.
In-person discussions are expected to resume on Thursday, in time for the December 1st deadline.
The fear remains that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be unwilling to take a step back from his demands, leaving a no-deal result firmly on the table. One thing is for sure. Parties on both sides of the Channel have grown weary from the tedious and seemingly never-ending talks. With the pandemic’s added frustrations and all the associated lockdowns and measures, everyone wants to get it over and done with.
If you’re listening, Santa, anything you can do to help would be mightily appreciated!
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