On their completion in London and Brussels is nine months
In March, the United Kingdom and the European Union because of the pandemic, COVID-19 was forced to suspend negotiations on the future of their trade relations after the Brexit. According to the plan of the British government, they should be completed by the end of the transitional period on 31 December 2020. In the EU institution the deadline is considered overly ambitious: as stated by the interviewed members of the European Parliament (EP), trade negotiations will have to renew at least four months.
The second act of the withdrawal of Britain from the EU — namely the negotiations on the future trade relations — should be completed by January 1, 2021. Then towards the end suitable transition period Brexit prescribed in British law. However, to decide whether it will be renewed, the parties will have until 1 July this year — in fact to mark the outline of a trade agreement they still only 2.5 months.
— Aim to conclude negotiations by the end of the transitional period was initially too ambitious. This deadline in their dreams was established by the British conservatives, and the reality is it has nothing to do, said Czech politician, member of the EP Committee on internal market and consumer protection Caterina Finite. — Of course, if there is a will, everything is possible, but given the COVID-19 transitional Brexit should be moved to a later date.
Her colleague, the German politician, member of the EP Committee on economic and monetary Affairs Gunnar Beck this view is shared. He believes that because of the pandemic and quarantine in Europe, the negotiations will have to extend at least 4-6 months.
— Reaching an agreement on a number of fundamental questions to Jul nothing more than an illusion, — the politician said. — While the British government insists that no extension should not be. In my opinion, this is extremely optimistic, and in the end the leadership of Britain will have to change its position.
Meanwhile, London is standing out — as stated in the United Kingdom Embassy in the Russian Federation, "the end of the transitional period on 31 December 2020 enshrined in British law, and the Prime Minister [Boris Johnson] has made it clear that to change it, he does not intend".
The pandemic coronavirus trade negotiations, London and Brussels, launched in early March, had to be suspended. An additional argument was the infection COVID-19 the chief negotiator from the EU Michel Barnier, as he said in the middle of the month. Later it became known that the coronavirus was picked up and the Prime Minister of great Britain, Boris Johnson. As announced on 10 April the British media, after several days in the ICU, the Prime Minister has gone on the amendment, and on 12 April it became known that he was discharged from the hospital. However, according to Sky News, to return to his duties, he will be able not earlier than in a month. And let the current composition of the government, guarantees to Boris Johnson the continuity of its course, the fact that the head of the government, to set the tone of the negotiations on Brexit, will be temporarily excluded from the process, weakens the position of London.
To continue contacts on a trade agreement, the parties intend in the near future. As reported April 8 on Twitter Michel Barnier, on Wednesday, April 15, he's gonna have his British counterpart David frost to define the schedule further negotiating rounds. David frost "reassured everyone" that contacts in London and Brussels, "in these difficult times" did not stop, and the parties have exchanged legal documents about the future of trade relations.
The key problem lies in the difference between the approaches: Britain is trying to get more benefits from European market, imposing himself less responsibilities. Therefore, the EU should make it so that under any circumstances a third state, the United Kingdom, did not enjoy the same rights as member countries, — said Katerina Finite. London constantly scares the EU that there will be no bargain, forgetting that such a scenario will hit primarily in the UK.
Critics such tight deadlines rests on the fact that the negotiations on the EU's trade with third countries for years, and for the United Kingdom, despite a common history, strong exceptions here should not wait. Among the questions yet to be resolved include the following topics:
compliance with the standards of the European Union on state aid, environment and production requirements, as well as some rules in the areas of employment and fiscal policy;
fishing — the EU wants to maintain the current regime, but Britain insists that its national waters will have the advantage of local fishermen;
the role of the Court of the European Union;
the financial sector — the EU intends to retain regulatory control over the city of London, and Britain seeking more autonomy and want to abstract from possible crises in the Eurozone;
cooperation in the spheres of external and internal security, including the exchange of confidential information and intelligence;
cooperation between the courts and the police in civil and criminal cases.According to Gunnar Beck, the last two points are unlikely to become a stumbling block - compliance with EU standards, control over the financial sector and the jurisdiction of the Court of the European Union are most difficult.
“In my opinion, an agreement can be reached if Britain makes concessions on two of these three points,” the politician is sure. - Both the United Kingdom and the European Union will face severe economic consequences from the coronavirus and, accordingly, the need to maintain smooth trade relations.
On April 9, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, citing sources, reported that trade negotiations with another key ally of Britain, the United States, were suspended indefinitely. They were supposed to begin on March 23. It is possible that the economic situation after the outbreak of COVID-19 will put the European Union, the United States and Britain in different conditions, which means that the post-pandemic situation will become a new reference point for trade negotiations.