France threatens with a veto
Brexit trade talks are at a “critical juncture”, with Britain saying an agreement would be reached “only if the EU accept that the United Kingdom is a sovereign state “. At the same time, France is warning of a veto, saying it will not accept a deal on bad terms, while European Council President Charles Michel is trying to keep the balance.
Essentially, three issues are blocking the negotiations from the beginning: fisheries, ensuring a level playing field and resolving future disputes arising from the implementation of the agreement.
Speaking to Sky television, British Business Secretary Alok Sarma said the situation remained “difficult” and that issues needed to be resolved.
“From the beginning of this process, we have always said that an agreement can only be reached if the EU recognize that the United Kingdom is a sovereign, independent state, “he said emphatically.
It is recalled that Britain officially left the EU. on 31 January, but has since entered a transitional period in which the rules on trade, travel and business continue to apply.
Since the end of the year, the EU will treat it as a third country.
France threatens with a veto
In fact, France has made it clear through its Undersecretary of State, Clement Bonn, that it will veto a Brexit trade agreement if it does not meet certain conditions, in particular with regard to fisheries.
“I want to tell our fishermen, our producers, the citizens who are listening to us that we will not accept a deal on bad terms,” he told France 1 radio station.
“If there can be no good agreement, we will oppose it. Every country has the right to veto, so this is possible. “We will make our own assessment of this draft agreement, if there is such a thing,” Bonn stressed.
The Netherlands is broadcasting on the same wavelength, especially on the issue of fisheries and prefers no agreement at all, rather than a bad agreement.
Charles Michel: The key issue is a level playing field
For his part, European Council President Charles Michel assured during a press conference that the 27 would remain united until the last second of negotiations on a post-Brexit trade agreement.
“We will hold to the last minute, the last second of this process to guarantee unity between us. “There is a negotiation process between European and British negotiators at the moment,” said Michel, as tensions between the 27 reached the final stretch of negotiations with London.
“We will see in the coming hours or days what the next stages will be,” he added. “We want an agreement, but not at any cost,” he said, adding that “for the European Union the issue of a level playing field is key.”
At the same time, the President of the European Council explained that the Commission will present the result of the talks, before the Member States form an opinion “in relation to what is on the table”. “I do not intend to prejudge,” he said.
Germany, Commission support ‘agreement at all costs’
It is noted that Germany, which holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, and the European Commission of Ursula von der Leyen want an “agreement at all costs”, according to many European sources, but some countries, such as France and the Netherlands, particularly interested in the issue of fisheries, state that they prefer no agreement at all, rather than a bad agreement.
Three issues block the negotiations from the outset: fisheries, ensuring a level playing field and resolving future disputes arising from the implementation of the agreement.