The European Union could allow the City of London to gain access to European markets in exchange of the United Kingdom allowing fleets from Europe to continue to fishing rights in British waters, suggested the EU’s trade commissioner. She said that this could be a last minute trade-off between the two parties as a part of the Brexit deal.
At the end of the transition period for Brexit, the automatic rights to access the European markets by the companies in the financial services sector of the UK would be lost. It would require an agreement between the EU and the UK for such companies to gain access. On the other hand, fishing rights in British waters will be similarly lost for European fishing companies and their boats and that too has to be negotiated.
“There certainly will be trade-offs, particularly at the end of the negotiations. The EU will be seeking concessions on fishery access and the UK will very probably be seeking concessions on financial services,” Phil Hogan, the former Irish minister who is now trade commissioner in Brussels overseeing the next stage of the Brexit negotiations, told the Irish Independent newspaper.
Claims being made in certain quarters that there would be pressure on the EU to come to a trade deal with the UK because of parallel UK-US negotiations was described as “fairytale economics” by Hogan who is also known to be among the severest critics of supporters of Brexit such as Boris Johnson.
It is expected that fresh negotiations on the divorce deal between the UK and the EU will start off in March this year after the schedule date of setting in of Brexit on January 31. It is expected that both the sides will have settled in on their major positions for the negotiations of the future relationship between them.
A series of commitments have to be signed by the UK in relation to state aid, environmental and labour standards to allow tariff- and quota-free trade, said Ursula von der Leyen, the European commission president while speaking in Luxembourg on Monday.
“Great Britain is our friend, the Brits are our friends, it is a friendship that has been growing for a long time but we have to break new ground with each other, and here it applies as well: it is the decision of Great Britain how close or distant of the biggest single market in the world they want to be,” she said.
“The closer they are, meaning a level playing field, the more they are ready to respect the European rules, the easier accession to the European single market will be. The further away, the less there is of a level playing field, the more difficult their access to the European single market will be. It is a decision Great Britain has to make and in the negotiations we will have to sound out the scope that we want to use to then determine the negotiations accordingly,” she added.
(Adapted from TheGuardian.com)