The negotiators have made progress during talks in London this week to resolve some of the biggest problems thus far, increasing prospects of a deal being agreed by early November. Both sides have begun work on the text of an agreement on the level playing field. They are edging closer to finalising a combined record covering state aid.
The UK and EU also have moved closer to determine how critical aspects of any accord is going to be enforced. But significant differences still remain – especially on the level playing field, enforcement and fishing. The progress made by both sides is said to be an encouraging indication that they are moving closer to breaking the deadlock after seven weeks of often bitter talks.
There’s been a notable shift in gear and mood over recent times, together with London and Brussels now working hard to finalise as many chapters of a potential agreement as possible before the end of November deadline.
The threat of a significant collapse in a Brexit deal still remains strong, with EU officials stress they see any deal as one arrangement where nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.
Fishing remains a significant stumbling block, with the two sides still arguing over exactly what rights EU ships will have to enter British waters as well as what their share of the quota will be after the transition period.
France is among several coastal states demanding continued access to waters between six and 12 miles off Britain’s shore – an agreement they benefitted from Pre-Brexit.
Negotiators believe if these problems continue to be problematic, it is going to call for urgent and significant political intervention from leaders Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron.
France’s Europe Minister has issued the UK with the other barbarous warning, insisting “that there is no reason” to bow to demands from the British.
Clement Beaune said: “The face of Brexit is going to be the face of our fishermen. Thus we must have the ability to tell them that their interests were not protected.
“There is not any good reason for us to give in to British pressure.”