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DW News published this video item, entitled “Brexit: EU, UK leaders set trade deal deadline until Sunday | DW News” – below is their description.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen set a new deadline for Sunday evening after meeting on Wednesday. Their “last supper” was aimed at determining both sides’ willingness to continue negotiations for a post-Brexit trade deal that could avoid a chaotic breakup in three weeks. The three-hour “lively” dinner ended with the two sides still being “far apart” on a possible trade deal, but they agreed to finalize a decision by Sunday.
The talks appeared to go badly, according to DW correspondent in Brussels, Barbara Wesel. The three major obstacles of fair competition, governance of the deal, and fisheries remain, she said, and there appeared to have been “absolutely zero movement” on these. There are no higher authorities on the Brexit trade deal and so a lack of movement now has little recourse for hope, Wesel explained. “A no-deal might be looming indeed.”
Ahead of the meeting, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her skepticism over the dinner’s possible results. “There is still the chance of an agreement,” she said during a speech to German lawmakers. She also stressed that the EU would not compromise on its core principles. “One thing is clear: the integrity of the [EU’s] internal market must be preserved.”
Merkel told the German parliament that the bloc would “take a path without an agreement if there are conditions from the British side that we can’t accept.” Before the meeting, Johnson said a post-Brexit deal was still possible. “A good deal is still there to be done. I look forward to discussing it with Commissioner von der Leyen tonight,” he told Parliament. He also said, however, that there were some terms that “I don’t believe … any prime minister of this country should accept.” The primary conflicts revolve around fishing rights in British waters, ensuring fair competition for companies on either side of the English Channel, and ways to solve future disputes.
Reaching a deal by the end of the year would ensure that there are no blanket tariffs or quotas on trade in goods on January 1, although there would still be new costs and red tape for businesses. Failure to secure a deal would mean following international trade rules established by the World Trade Organization and the introduction of tariffs and other barriers that would hurt both sides, albeit affecting roughly 45% of British foreign trade as opposed to around 8% of Europe’s. “We must have a level playing field not just for today, but we must have one for tomorrow or the day after, and to do this we must have agreements on how one can react if the other changes their legal situation,” Merkel said. “Otherwise there will be unfair competitive conditions that we cannot ask of our companies.” Michael Gove, a senior minister in Johnson’s government, told Times Radio the EU would have to compromise if it wanted a deal. “The EU has to move,” he said. Failure to secure a deal would put around $1 trillion (€825 billion) in annual trade at stake, and would likely snarl borders, shock financial markets and create chaos throughout supply chains across Europe.DW News YouTube Channel
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