EU holding secret talks in preparation for trade clash with U.K.


A European Commission spokesman said:”This assembly is happening at a really particular moment in the phase where the withdrawal arrangement is being ratified in the UK, it is not taking place in a time period when the trade negotiations have started. Talks about the future trading relationship with Brussels can only start after Britain renders the bloc.

The meetings will likely get underway on January 8 and will resolve, just days before Britain’s scheduled departure, on January 29th. Phil Hogan, the EU Commission’s new trade commissioner, predicted Mr Johnson will U-turn on his pledge to never extend the transition period.

The political declaration, which sets out the joint negotiating targets, sets out that prices for fiscal services equivalence and fisheries are the first to be agreed and ratified at the end of July 1st. Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith has issued a similar warning, announcing opening US trade talks may speed up negotiations with Brussels.”I don’t believe Prime Minister Johnson will perish in the ditch over the deadline for the future relationship “Mr Johnson has tasked David Frost, his chief negotiator, to complete a trade agreement with Brussels to ensure the new relationship can enter into force in time for next year. 

French newspaper Les Echos:”It seems to me on both sides we have to inquire serious if all these discussions are feasible in this short time.”The Prime Minister is expected to utilize the Downing Street meeting to emphasise his intention not to extend the transition period, which keeps Britain tied to the EU’s rulebook before the end of December.

In a bid to maintain pressure on Brussels to adhere to the timetable, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab are pushing for the UK to start parallel talks with the US.Ms von der Leyen last month said she has”serious concern” over the strategy to negotiate an EU-UK trade deal in Mr Johnson’s 11-month timetable.”The meeting is to discuss holistically the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and also to look forward to anticipate the year ahead in all of its dimensions.”Boris Johnson will host Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission’s president, on Wednesday as he leads the United Kingdom’s own preparations to depart the EU at the end of the month.

The EU Parliament is expected to ratify the withdrawal arrangement on January 29 and Mr Johnson is hopeful to push the deal through the House of Commons from the forthcoming days.In prep for a rough 11 months, EU diplomats and officials will decide on their negotiating mandate before Britain’s departure from the bloc on January 31.

Brussels will want to divide the talks, which are expected to begin as early as February 3, into a number of distinct areas. They’ll consist of financial services, fisheries, information exchange, free trade in goods, services, intellectual property and public procurement, level playing field, transportation, law enforcement, judicial cooperation, governance, freedom of citizens and distance, European Defence Fund and cyber-security.

“That’s the reason why we should not sit waiting for the EU to be ready; we ought to underline our sovereign position by embarking on parallel trade negotiations with USA.”In a recent interview with the Irish Times, the Brussels bureaucrat stated:”We saw how the prime minister promised to perish in the ditch rather than extend the deadline for Brexit, just for him to do just that.

But crucial figures in Brussels have cast doubt on whether a deal will likely be achievable in the timescale determined by the Prime Minister, who was buoyed after securing a huge House of Commons majority after last month’s general election.”We must also recognise that the EU will intentionally drag its feet in the first few months of the year since they want the UK to be made to extend the implementation phase at the end of 2020, giving the EU billions more in contributions to its finances,” Sunday Telegraph. READ MORE ARTICLES 


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