Agreement on an extension of negotiations with Britain was arrived at by the European Union leaders for a striking a trade deal after Brexit, talks for which are to be held within the next few weeks, with the main aim to end dispute on fisheries, fair competition and other disputes so that annual commerce of a trillion euros could be preserved.
Gaps on issues – from energy to welfare, have been narrowed down by the two parties who have been engaged in talks for months in preparation for 2021 when Britain’s transition period of exit from the EU will end formally.
But a deal has been prevented by three most contentious areas or issues even as there is a growing concern and unease among businesses and markets with the year-end deadline is nearing and no agreement for a Brexit deal seems to be on the horizon between sixth biggest economy of the world and its largest trading partners – the EU.
The deadline for a deal was set for October 15 by Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson last month while this week he said that the future course of action would be decided by after examining on the conclusions of this week’s EU summit.
“The European Council invites the Unionʼs chief negotiator to continue negotiations in the coming weeks, and calls on the UK to make the necessary moves to make an agreement possible,” the latest draft of the EU summit conclusions said.
A thin deal by early November is expected by many on financial markets even though they also expect the drama to last for several more weeks.
An acceleration of contingency plans for an abrupt split in the eventuality of no trade deal Brexit within the time that Britain and the EU has left, is also desired by the 27 EU heads of state.
However the EU leaders are keen not to be blamed for any failure of arriving at an agreement on trade and therefore bloc wants to continue with talks for as long as possible, claimed a report quoting a German government source.
“The European Union will not be the ones getting up from the table,” the report quoted the German government source as saying.
In order to allow time for ratification by its parliament and some national chambers, a deal must come in early November at the latest, the EU says. And since it is important for Britain to also inform its businesses to prepare if talks fail, therefore London also could not wait much longer, said Britain’s junior business minister Nadhim Zahawi.
Senior EU officials pushed Johnson for progress in a call on Wednesday.
(Adapted from USNews.com)