We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.
The German chancellor’s comments came on Wednesday in a speech to the German parliament.
Merkel said that talks have so far produced “limited” progress, even after agreements from both sides that the negotiations should be intensified.
The German official said she would “continue to press for a good solution”, but added that both the EU and Germany should “prepare for the event that an agreement is not reached after all”.
Indeed, the most recent round of post-Brexit trade deal talks between the UK’s negotiator David Frost and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier concluded yesterday, with both later stating that little progress had been made.
Barnier said: “Our goal was to get negotiations successfully and quickly on a trajectory to reach an agreement.
“However, after four days of discussions, serious divergences remain.”
While Frost, on a slightly more optimistic note, added that although the week’s talks had been “comprehensive and useful”, they “also underlined the significant differences that still remain between us on a number of important issues”.
Trade talks have been at an impasse for several weeks, with competition rules understood to be a key sticking point.
Barnier said yesterday that the UK had set out demands including that the European Court of Justice have no future role in the UK.
The EU, meanwhile, has set about ensuring that the aforementioned competition rules are agreed and that “effective dispute settlement mechanisms” are in place.
READ: Boris Johnson ends furlough: PM says no more taxpayer support beyond October
In high level talks a couple of weeks ago, Boris Johnson and EU presidents agreed that trade talks needed “new momentum” following the lack of progress.
Pressure has perhaps intensified following the Prime Minister’s assertion that the UK would not extend the negotiation period with the EU beyond this year, meaning that the new rules between the UK and the EU will come into force on January 1 2021 whether there is a trade deal or not.
Boris Johnson said last month that there was a “very good” chance of both sides avoiding such a no-deal scenario and clinching a trade agreement this year.
The prime minister even added that he saw “no reason” why a deal could not be reached by July.
Boris issues desperate ‘super Saturday’ plea as Brits warned about ‘reckless behaviour’ [REPORT]
Boris Johnson offers refuge to 3 million after China crackdown [INSIGHT]
Brexit trade talks end a day early as stalemate hits – David Frost heads back to London [REPORT]
Businesses in the UK will likely be eager for an agreement either way soon rather than later, as it would give them time to prepare for whatever the situation may be come 2021.
Indeed, the EU is the Britain’s largest trading partner. More than half of UK imports in 2019 were from the EU, worth a total of £372 billion according to the House of Commons Library.
Conversely, the EU accounted for 43 percent of all UK exports last year, worth around £300 billion.
It’s perhaps particularly important for Wales, which exported a higher percentage of its goods to the EU in 2019 than any other region of the UK.
As such, it’s important to know what the rules might be when 2020 comes to a close.
The next round of UK-EU trade talks are due to commence on the week beginning July 20 – though it’s understood that “talks” will be continuing in London next week.
Meanwhile, the UK’s trade talks with Japan are steaming ahead in comparison.
It’s though that negotiations between the two countries could conclude as early as this month, with Japan’s chief negotiator to Britain, Hiroshi Matsuura, noting at the end of May that Japan wanted to secure a deal with the UK as a matter of “highest priority”.
Source: Read Full Article