EU negotiator Michel Barnier left the negotiations in Brussels to travel to Luxembourg where EU ministers are meeting to take stock of the state of play and ensure that the 27 member countries maintain a front united, which they have been doing since the UK decided to leave the EU. Four years ago.
German Europe Minister Michael Roth stressed that with the deadline for concluding a framework agreement on a basic trading relationship reduced to days and weeks instead of months, key priorities still need to be addressed by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
“Frankly, we are at a very critical point in the negotiations,” Roth said. ” Hurry up. We therefore expect substantial progress ”in key areas focused on rules aimed at ensuring fair economic competition, legal oversight of any agreement and fisheries.
Roth’s French counterpart, Clement Beaune, said that in particular when it comes to UK business access to the EU market, the bloc needs to be very strict to ensure UK businesses are not able to undermine their mainland rivals through minimal regulation and excessive government subsidies.
“Otherwise, we would have unfair competition that is not supported by our citizens, our businesses and our workers,” Beaune said.
Johnson has long touted the two-day EU summit that begins on Thursday as an ultimate deadline, while the EU-27 is ready to negotiate until early November to work out a deal, however basic it may be.
Since last month, member states have also become ardent in demanding legal guarantees on the governance of any agreement since Johnson introduced legislation in September that violates the Brexit withdrawal agreement he himself signed with the EU last year.
The EU said any deal would take around two months for legal ratification, translation into the EU’s many languages and approval by the EU parliament, resulting in an effective deadline of around November 1.
Follow all of AP’s stories on the Brexit trade negotiations at https://apnews.com/Brexit.