Brussels, Belgium – February 3: EU President Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier addresses a news conference in Brussels, Belgium on February 3, 2020.
“Despite the difficulties we have faced, if both sides are willing to work constructively, if both sides are willing to compromise, if we are able to move forward in the next few days on the basis of legal texts and if we are ready in the next few days to resolve sticky points and tricky matters,” said EU Chief Adviser Michael. Barnier told the European Parliament.
His comment gave hope to traders that a trade agreement between the UK and the EU would be reached Their negotiations are stuck Over the same three issues for several months.
Friday, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson It struck a dark tone when warning exporters to be prepared for any deal with the EU. A government spokesman added on the same day that EU negotiators would not need to travel to London this week unless the EU changed its approach to the talks.
British officials were disappointed when European leaders called on the UK to “take the necessary steps to make a deal possible” late last week.
These tensions have stalled talks, but the EU has now said it is ready to return to the table once the UK government chooses to do so.
“We will seek the necessary compromises on both sides to do everything we can to reach an agreement, and we will do so until the last day so that we can do so,” Barnier told lawmakers Wednesday.
“Our doors will always be open until the last, but … we will be sure,” he said.
The UK suspended its EU membership in January, but it follows EU rules until the end of the year so both sides can work on new trade arrangements. These will be different from the zero-charge regime at the moment. Failure to develop new trade rules could result in exporters facing higher costs and barriers when selling goods between the two camps.
UK Secretary of State Michael Cove told Sky News on Sunday that there was less than a 50% chance of reaching an agreement. Earlier this month, he set it aside with a 66% probability. Negotiators have not yet reached a compromise on fisheries, competition rules and future oversight of their potential contract.
In addition, the EU has stated that it will not sign any new trade agreement, while the UK government has not fully complied with the withdrawal agreement signed earlier this year, which has led to its withdrawal from the UK camp. The government in London has tabled a bill that would violate parts of these previous agreements and the European Union has demanded that the law be amended to respect their previous agreement.