The Heads of State or Government traveled to Brussels with a certain satisfaction. On this day, another ultimatum was passed by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Brussels. Again, he has just bluffed and will not leave the table where future EU-UK relations are being negotiated.
In the dispute over a Brexit trade agreement between the EU and Great Britain, the button is still pointed. The EU summit said on Thursday that it is now up to London to “take the necessary steps to make an agreement possible”.
EU negotiator Michel Barnier said they wanted a fair deal to continue, but not at any cost. German Chancellor Angela Merkel made the same point. British negotiator David Frost reacted disappointed and released an official statement on Friday. Then Prime Minister Boris Johnson could say whether the negotiations should be broken off.
Both parties have been working for months on a trade pact that aims to avoid tariffs and trade barriers at the end of the year. On crucial points, however, no solution has been found – although Johnson had set the EU as an October 15 deadline for an agreement.
Barnier suggested to Britain on Thursday evening to intensify negotiations again for the next two to three weeks. He wants to be all the way in London for the next week. Negotiations are then scheduled in Brussels.
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British side is disappointed
The summit statement, however, calls for concessions from London, especially with regard to key fisheries bottlenecks, competitive conditions and dispute settlement. France in particular is demanding that EU fishermen continue to fish in British waters. “Under no circumstances should our fishermen become victims of Brexit,” said President Emmanuel Macron.
British negotiator Frost was disappointed with the summit’s statement and surprised that intensive efforts were no longer being made. It is also surprising that only Great Britain is allowed to move. “It’s an unusual approach to negotiating,” Frost wrote on Twitter.
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Merkel had previously said, “We want an agreement, but not at any cost.” You have to come to a fair deal that will benefit both parties. “It is worth it.” Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Commission, praised that much good work has already been done, but decisive points were still open. Council leader Charles Michel emphasized that the EU is one hundred percent closed and ‘extremely quiet’.
The chances of a deal coming up should have increased in recent days. Bernd Lange (SPD), head of the trade committee in the European Parliament, estimates 40 percent that a last-minute agreement can still be reached. Both sides should negotiate non-stop from Monday, the first week in London, the second in Brussels.
Michel Barnier, EU Chief Brexit Negotiator Photo: REUTERS
David McAllister (CDU), head of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, makes it clear how high the time constraints are: “The final legal texts must be in place by the end of October, otherwise there will not be enough time for parliament, in the last week of the session for the Christmas holidays are green. to give. ”
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The EU offers Johnson a comprehensive free trade agreement. This gave British companies full access to the European market without tariffs for services and goods. However, Brussels imposes conditions on London: the same rules of the game must apply on both sides, for example in the areas of subsidies, employee rights, taxes and environmental requirements.
In addition, it must be clear that in disputes a decision is taken by the highest European court, the European Court of Justice (CJEU). In addition, EU fishermen must continue to have access to UK waters.
The UK side is unwilling to continue to recognize the General Data Protection Regulation as a basis. The British side wants full market access for financial services, but wants to place the service providers under British supervision, which Brussels strongly rejects.
No resolutions have been passed on climate protection
On the first day of the summit during dinner, climate protection was also on the agenda. Resolutions are not passed. The bosses would rather have an orientation debate and then commit to the next regular summit in December.
Merkel promotes “that EU member states support the goal of 55 percent less emissions by 2030”. The European Parliament has just voted for 60%. Now the member states must position themselves as co-legislators and then come to an agreement with parliament.
Many look to Poland. Last year, the German neighbor was the only member state that did not vote to strive for EU climate neutrality by 2050. And Poland could also block the 55 percent target for 2030. (with dpa)