Home Business Ursula von der Leyen alerts ‘higher progress’ in Brexit talks

Ursula von der Leyen alerts ‘higher progress’ in Brexit talks

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Brussels has mentioned that progress was made on this week’s Brexit commerce talks earlier than they had been disrupted by a member of the EU’s negotiating crew testing optimistic for Covid-19, with time working out to get a deal over the road. 

Ursula von der Leyen, the European Fee president, mentioned on Friday that “after troublesome weeks with very, very gradual progress, now we’ve got seen within the final days higher progress, extra motion on vital information”.

She particularly cited headway made by the EU and UK groups in settling guidelines on state subsidies for corporations — a vital a part of the broader problem of making a “stage enjoying subject” for enterprise, one of many fundamental remaining open factors within the talks. 

“There are nonetheless fairly some metres to the end line so there may be nonetheless lots of work to do,” Ms von der Leyen mentioned. “Time stress is excessive with none query.”

The edges are racing to conclude a deal that may permit enough time for the European Parliament to ratify the settlement earlier than Britain’s Brexit transition interval expires on December 31.

5 days of intensive negotiations in Brussels this week had been delivered to an abrupt finish on Thursday when a high-level EU negotiator examined optimistic for coronavirus, resulting in chief negotiator Michel Barnier and members of his senior crew going into self-isolation. 

Following an evaluation of Belgian well being steerage, no UK officers have been required to isolate on account of the Covid-19 case, and the British crew is anticipated to return to London shortly.

Talks will proceed in a digital format, one thing that Ms von der Leyen mentioned could be made easier due to in depth joint drafting of authorized texts by the EU and UK in latest weeks. 

“There’s now substance the place you’ll be able to undergo line by line, phrase by phrase,” she added. 

The 2 sides have the intention that bodily negotiations will resume in London when doable. 

The fee up to date EU ambassadors on the state of the talks on Friday. An EU diplomat confirmed “tangible progress on numerous areas within the negotiations” whereas cautioning that “gaps are solely slowly shrinking” on the core sticking factors of EU fishing rights in British waters, honest competitors situations for enterprise and enforcement of commitments. 

The “hope is however that negotiations may be finalised rapidly if and as soon as the required political selections are taken in London”, the diplomat mentioned. 

On the query of fishing, the UK this week proposed a fixed-term, transitional association that may quickly restrict the discount in EU quota rights. 

There’s rising concern in Brussels concerning the restricted time left to ratify any deal that may be reached, given the necessity for any textual content to be checked and translated earlier than it’s formally despatched for endorsement by the European Parliament. Officers mentioned that the scenario would change into extra complicated if a deal was not reached by the top of subsequent week. 

EU governments additionally agreed at their Friday assembly that “contingency planning” for a doable failure of Brexit talks wanted to be ramped up, regardless of hope {that a} optimistic final result within the negotiations might nonetheless be achieved.

Brussels has but to substantiate when it is going to take emergency measures akin to authorized motion to make sure planes can nonetheless take off and land and lorries can nonetheless cross the Channel after Britain’s transition interval expires. 

EU officers mentioned Brussels was cautious of doing something that may disrupt the commerce talks, together with giving the impression that the bloc was able to cushion the blow of a no-deal exit.