Michel Barnier calls for non-EU immigration into France to be suspended for up to 5 years
Michel Barnier has called for all non-European Union immigration into France to be banned for up to five years. The EU’s former Brexit negotiator said immigration was “not working” in what is seen as a pitch to lead the centre-Right Republicains into next year’s presidential elections. “I think that effectively we need to take some time, between three to five years, and suspend immigration,” he said in comments aimed at sapping support from rival candidate Marine Le Pen. “I’m not talking about students, I’m not talking about refugees who must be treated with humanity and strength. But we need to rebuild the whole process,” he told French television. Mr Barnier has previously warned that France could follow the UK out of the EU amid “social unrest and anger” over immigration and Europe’s failure to defend its borders. He said Paris should hold talks with its EU allies about how to strengthen the bloc’s border controls and about the passport-free Schengen Zone. “The problems with immigration are not moderate [...]We need to talk to our neighbours about the Schengen Agreement, we possibly need to put in stricter border controls,” Mr Barnier said. Mr Barnier criticised Nigel Farage for his use of immigration in the Brexit referendum campaign in his recently published diary of the negotiations. "Extraordinary. The impact of Brexit is only just beginning," Nigel Farage exclusively told The Telegraph. "Immigration has delivered Brexit and destroyed the Labour Party. Barnier sees the electoral opportunity and he is right." Emmanuel Macron is expected to win the elections but the eurosceptic and anti-immigrant Ms Le Pen is expected to reach the second round of the vote and increase her support.news.yahoo.com
Britain set to formally recognise EU ambassador for first time since Brexit
Britain is preparing to give full diplomatic status to the European Union’s ambassador to London. The government rejected the bloc's demands to formally recognise João Vale de Almeida as the first EU ambassador to London after Brexit, leading to tensions with Brussels. No 10 has defended its decision, insisting the EU should be treated as an “international organisation” rather than a state. This led to condemnation by the EU and Conservative MPs who called it “petty”. Former US president Donald Trump reversed a similar downgrade to the EU’s ambassador to the US in 2019 after criticism.news.yahoo.com
UK, EU meeting in bid to calm post-Brexit trade turbulence
The turbulence centers on Northern Ireland, whose complex status has been one of the trickiest issues in the U.K.-EU divorce. Checks have also been imposed on some British goods going to Northern Ireland because it shares a border with EU member-state Ireland. That would have drawn a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland -- exactly what the Brexit trade deal was crafted to avoid. AdThe EU quickly dropped the idea after British, Irish and Northern Ireland politicians expressed alarm. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman, Jamie Davies, said the bloc’s move had caused “shock and anger” in Northern Ireland.
In virus-struck Europe, jabs trigger intense political fight
A security guard talks to people at the entrance of Novasep factory in Seneffe, Belgium, Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. The Novasep factory in the town of Seneffe is part of the European production chain for AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine. It also indicated how, beyond the medical complexity, the humanitarian needs and the personal pain felt across the continent, the pandemic is also an intense political fight. Much of that political bile pools together in the small Belgian industrial town of Seneffe south of Brussels. Which would make it all the more important for Berlin to ensure the EU gets all the vaccines it can.
Brexit's choice for EU, UK: firm friends or nearby rivals
Eleven months after Britains formal departure from the EU, Brexit becomes a fact of daily life on Friday, Jan. 1, 2021. The U.K. has chosen to leave the EU, setting a course away from the continental mainland. From a member of the EU, Britain will become its economic rival. Britain’s tabloid press perceived French ill-intent, accusing Paris of trying to force Britain into a Brexit trade deal. EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, a European Unionist and Frenchman to the core, sees tough times ahead for Britain.
British lawmakers approve post-Brexit trade deal with EU
UK chief trade negotiator David Frost looks on as Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson signs the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement at 10 Downing Street, London Wednesday Dec. 30, 2020. (Leon Neal/Pool via AP)BRUSSELS – Britain’s Parliament voted resoundingly on Wednesday to approve a trade deal with the European Union, paving the way for an orderly break with the bloc that will finally complete the U.K.’s long and divisive Brexit journey. With just a day to spare, lawmakers in the House of Commons voted 521-73 in favor of the agreement sealed between the U.K. government and the EU last week. She noted that the deal protected trade in goods but did not cover services, which account for 80% of Britain's economy. “We have a deal in trade, which benefits the EU, but not a deal in services, which would have benefitted the U.K.," May said.
UK warns of 'bumpy' post-Brexit transition despite deal
European Union ambassadors convened on Christmas Day to start an assessment of the massive free-trade deal the EU struck with Britain. (Olivier Hoslet, Pool via AP)LONDON – First came the Brexit trade deal. Four days after sealing a free trade agreement with the European Union, the British government warned businesses Monday to get ready for disruptions and “bumpy moments” when the new rules take effect on Thursday night. Despite the deal, uncertainty hangs over huge chunks of the relationship between Britain and the EU. ___Follow all AP stories on the Brexit trade talks at h ttps://apnews.com/Brexit
EU, UK unveil vast trade pact set to enter force on Jan 1
EU ambassadors and lawmakers on both sides of the English Channel will now pore over the “EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement,” which contains over 1,240 pages of text. EU envoys are expected to meet on Monday to discuss the document, drawn up over nine intense months of talks. But other barriers will be raised, as the U.K. loses the kind of access to a huge market that only membership can guarantee. EU member countries are expected to endorse the agreement over the course of next week. But even if they do approve it, the text would only enter force provisionally on New Year’s Day as the European Parliament must also have its say.
No time to rest: EU nations assess Brexit trade deal with UK
A colleague wears a Christmas hat as European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier, center, carries a binder of the Brexit trade deal during a special meeting of Coreper, at the European Council building in Brussels, Friday, Dec. 25, 2020. European Union ambassadors convened on Christmas Day to start an assessment of the massive free-trade deal the EU struck with Britain. (Olivier Hoslet, Pool via AP)BRUSSELS – The fast-track ratification of the post-Brexit trade deal between the U.K. and the European Union got underway on Christmas Day as ambassadors from the bloc's 27 nations started assessing the accord that takes effect in a week. Without a trade deal, tariffs would have been imposed on trade between the two sides starting Jan. 1. ___Follow all AP stories on the Brexit trade talks at https://apnews.com/Brexit
UK and EU expected to announce Brexit trade deal today
LONDON — The Irish foreign minister said a post-Brexit trade deal is expected Thursday, after a "last-minute hitch" delayed an announcement. EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said Tuesday the bloc was making a "final push" to strike a Brexit trade deal with Britain ahead of Dec. 31. The yields on U.K. and U.S. government bonds dipped on Thursday after rising sharply the day before on hopes of a deal. Stumbling blocksThe EU wants to maintain access for its fishing fleets to U.K. waters, while the U.K. wants to largely curb these fishing rights. A no-deal scenario could see EU access to U.K. waters end abruptly, and vice versa, and the U.K. has already threatened to deploy gunboats to protect British waters.cnbc.com
EU-UK leaders seek way out of Brexit trade impasse
After Barnier's briefing, an EU diplomat said that “progress has been made. If talks go on beyond that point, it's unclear under what conditions trade would take place in the interim. “Differences on fisheries remain difficult to bridge,” the EU diplomat said. While both sides would suffer economically from a failure to secure a trade deal, most economists think Britain would take a greater hit, at least in the near-term, as it's relatively more reliant on trade with the EU than the other way around. ___Follow all AP stories on the Brexit trade talks at https://apnews.com/Brexit
EU-UK trade talks floundering over fish as cutoff day nears
“We continue to work hard," EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said in a statement as light faded over EU headquarters on Sunday. A senior British government official said that both sides “have been negotiating throughout the day and expect to continue tomorrow. Johnson is seeking to make sure that as much as possible of the shared British waters are now returned to U.K. vessels only. The talks have bogged down on two main issues over the past days — the EU’s access to U.K. fishing waters and assurances of fair competition between businesses. A trade deal would ensure there are no tariffs and quotas on trade in goods between the two sides, but there would still be technical costs, partly associated with customs checks and non-tariff barriers on services.
Fishing talks move at snail's pace in EU-UK Brexit standoff
(AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)BRUSSELS – European Union and British negotiators on Saturday extended their standoff over EU fishing rights in U.K. waters and remained unable to make a decisive breakthrough in trade talks aimed at averting a chaotic and costly post-Brexit split on New Year's Day. Yet, fishing and control of its waters was an essential part of the 2016 Brexit referendum, when British voters narrowly decided to leave the bloc. And for nations like France, fishing communities have long held a sway over national politics well beyond their economic importance. The talks have bogged down on two main issues over the past days — the EU’s access to U.K. fishing waters and assurances of fair competition between businesses. ___Follow all AP stories about Brexit and British politics at https://apnews.com/Brexit
Just ‘a few hours’ left to agree a Brexit trade deal, top EU negotiator says
LONDON - The U.K. and the European Union are running out of time to agree terms on a post-Brexit trading arrangement, EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier has warned. Both sides have offered conflicting messages in recent days over the likelihood of a trade deal being agreed before Britain departs the EU's orbit in two weeks' time. Addressing the European Parliament in Brussels on Friday, Barnier said negotiations had reached "the moment of truth." "We have little time remaining, just a few hours, to work through these negotiations in a useful fashion if we want the agreement to enter into force on the 1st January," Barner said. "There is a chance of getting an agreement but the path to such an agreement is very narrow."cnbc.com
EU says EU-UK face weekend 'last attempt' to get trade deal
A man sits in a bench under the sun outside the EU headquarters in Brussels, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)BRUSSELS – The European Union and the United Kingdom are heading into the weekend on a “last attempt" to clinch a post-Brexit trade deal, with EU fishing rights in British waters the most notable remaining obstacle to avoid a chaotic and costly changeover in the new year. “That’s really where we are,” Johnson said, adding “no sensible government" could agree to the EU demands as they stand. The European Parliament issued a three-day ultimatum to negotiators to strike a trade deal if it’s to be in a position to ratify an agreement this year. A trade deal would ensure there are no tariffs and quotas on trade in goods between the two sides, but there would still be technical costs, partly associated with customs checks and non-tariff barriers on services.
EU Parliament issues 3-day ultimatum for post-Brexit deal
An anti-Brexit demonstrator holds an EU flag in Parliament Square, in London, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. “We give until Sunday to Boris Johnson to make a decision," said Dacian Ciolos, president of the Renew Europe group in the European Parliament. Johnson’s spokesman, Jamie Davies, did not respond directly to the European Parliament’s ultimatum. “We want to reach a (free trade agreement) if possible, as soon as possible, and that remains our position,” he said. After that, British firms trading with the EU will face customs checks, border inspections and — unless there is a free trade deal — tariffs.
Asian shares decline following lackluster day on Wall Street
Asian shares sank on Tuesday after a lackluster day on Wall Street as investors wait to see if Congress can break a logjam on delivering more aid to people, businesses and local governments affected by the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)Asian shares sank on Tuesday after a lackluster day on Wall Street as investors wait to see if Congress can break a logjam on delivering more aid to people, businesses and local governments affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.7% to 26,220.41 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo gave up 0.3% to 26,687.84. Smaller companies held up better than their larger rivals, as the Russell 2000 index gained 2.16 points, or 0.1%, to 1,913.86. “Again, it feels like we are stuck in the negative feedback loop," Stephen Innes of Axi said in a commentary.
EU chief negotiator still sees hope to clinch EU-UK deal
European Commission's Head of Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom Michel Barnier talks to the media outside the EU headquarters in Brussels, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)BRUSSELS – European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier said Monday he still has the firm belief that a Brexit trade agreement is possible, and whittled the outstanding disputes to be settled ahead of the New Year to just two. It highlighted that just as EU fishermen crave to continue working in British waters, the U.K. seafood industry is extremely dependent on exports into the 27-nation bloc. Johnson has made fisheries and U.K. control over its waters a key demand in the long saga of leaving the EU. ___Follow all AP stories on the Brexit trade talks at https://apnews.com/BrexitJ
Going 'the extra mile': UK, EU keep up Brexit trade talks
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrives to deliver a statement at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020. (Olivier Hoslet/Pool Photo via AP)BRUSSELS – Teetering on the brink of a no-deal Brexit departure, Britain and the European Union stepped back from the void Sunday and agreed to continue trade talks, although both downplayed the chances of success. U.K. and EU negotiators were still talking at EU headquarters on Sunday, with less than three weeks to go until the U.K. leaves the economic embrace of the 27-nation bloc. What we want is a good deal, a deal that respects these principles of economic fair play." Tariffs will be applied to many U.K. goods, including 10% on cars and more than 40% on lamb, hurting the U.K. economy as it struggles to rebound from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
UK, EU leaders to meet Wednesday amid Brexit no-deal signals
Johnson’s office confirmed the two leaders would hold a dinner meeting ”to continue discussions on the future relationship between the U.K. and the EU." Reaching a trade deal by then would ensure there are no tariffs and quotas on trade in goods on Jan. 1, although there would still be new costs and red tape for businesses. Britain claimed its Internal Market Bill was needed as an “insurance policy” to protect the flow of goods within the U.K. in the event of a no-deal Brexit. EU officials suggested negotiations could continue past Jan. 1, even as the two sides tumbled into a no-deal trading relationship. The U.K. government sees Brexit as about sovereignty and “taking back control” of the country’s laws, borders and waters.
UK's Johnson to head to Brussels amid Brexit talks deadlock
Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May, came time and again to negotiate a Brexit deal, only to see it repeatedly rejected by her own Parliament, ending her top-level career. Johnson will be hoping for a quick in-and-out that leaves his reputation intact and his country on course for a free trade deal with its biggest economic partner. Johnson and von der Leyen spoke by phone Monday for the second time in 48 hours, as their negotiators were stuck in gridlocked trade talks. Officials on both sides said there were also major differences over the legal oversight of any trade deal and European boats’ access to U.K. waters. While both Britain and the EU say they want a trade deal, trust and goodwill are strained after months of testy negotiations.
Last-ditch post-Brexit trade talks resume between EU, UK
European Union flags flutter in the wind prior to a meeting of Britain's chief negotiator David Frost and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier at EU headquarters in Brussels, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020. If there remain major issues with legal oversight of any trade deal and standards of fair play the UK needs to meet to be able to export in the EU, fisheries appears to move toward some sense of compromise. While the U.K. left the EU on Jan. 31, it remains within the bloc’s tariff-free single market and customs union through Dec. 31. A second issue is that the EU wants the toughest legal checks possible on Britain respecting any deal that emerges. The EU has demanded widespread access to U.K. fishing grounds that historically have been open to foreign trawlers.
Crunch UK-EU talks on post-Brexit ties to resume Sunday
(Julien Warnand)LONDON – The European Union and the United Kingdom decided Saturday to press on with negotiating a post-Brexit trade deal, with all three key issues still unresolved ahead of a year-end cutoff. While the U.K. left the EU on Jan. 31, it remains within the bloc’s tariff-free single market and customs union through Dec. 31. The talks would surely have collapsed by now, were the interests and economic costs at stake not so massive. “Both sides underlined that no agreement is feasible if these issues are not resolved,” von der Leyen and Johnson said Saturday. The EU has demanded widespread access to U.K. fishing grounds that historically have been open to foreign trawlers.
UK-EU trade talks 'paused' with deal still elusive
With less than one month to go before the U.K. exits the EU's economic orbit, talks are continuing, and U.K. officials have said this is the last week to strike a deal. U.K. officials briefed media outlets that the EU had set back negotiations by making last-minute demands — an allegation the bloc denied. Any deal must be approved by lawmakers in Britain and the EU before year’s end. If there is no deal, New Year’s Day will bring huge disruption, with the overnight imposition of tariffs and other barriers to U.K.-EU trade. That will hurt both sides, but the burden will fall most heavily on Britain, which does almost half its trade with the EU.
Brexit broken record: Trade deal close but big issues remain
European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier walks to the Conference Centre in London, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. “If we do that, there’s a good chance that we can get a deal across the line in the next few days,” Coveney said. A trade deal by then would ensure there are no tariffs and quotas on trade in goods between the two sides, but there would still be technical costs, partly associated with customs checks and non-tariff barriers on services. If a trade deal came later than Jan 1, it would make for two massive adaptations of customs and border rules within a short time. These relate to fishing rights in British waters, business regulations and state aid.
With a month until split, Brexit trade deal hangs in balance
With less than two months to go before the U.K. exits the EU's economic orbit, trade deal talks resume in London. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)LONDON – The British government told businesses on Tuesday to make sure they are ready for big changes when the U.K. makes its final Brexit break from the European Union in exactly a month. Talks are continuing, and U.K. officials have said this is the last week to strike a deal. That will hurt both sides, but the burden will fall most heavily on Britain, which does almost half its trade with the EU. But firms that trade with the EU say they still don’t know what conditions they will face in a month’s time.
Germany's Merkel: Brexit no-deal would set bad example
BERLIN – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday that Britain and the European Union would set a bad example if they fail to reach a deal on their future relationship, but again insisted that the EU doesn't want a deal at any price. The Internal Market Bill gives the U.K. power to override sections of the agreement dealing with Northern Ireland trade. Merkel insisted again that an agreement, though highly desirable, isn't an absolute must-have. That will hurt both sides, but the burden will fall most heavily on Britain, which does almost half its trade with the EU. “The call for contingency measures from some member countries is now getting increasingly loud,” Merkel said.
UK says Brexit trade talks with EU are in their 'last week'
Teams from Britain and the European Union are continuing face-to-face talks on a post-Brexit trade deal in the little remaining time. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)LONDON – Britain’s foreign minister said Sunday there is only about a week left for the U.K. and the European Union to strike a post-Brexit trade deal, with fishing rights the major obstacle to an agreement. EU countries want their boats to be able to keep fishing in British waters, while the U.K. insists it must control access and quotas. “On fisheries, there is a point of principle: As we leave the transition, we are an independent coastal state and we’ve got to be able to control our waters,” Raab said. That will hurt both sides, but the burden will fall most heavily on Britain, which does almost half its trade with the EU.
UK, EU resume face-to-face trade talks with time running out
LONDON – Teams from Britain and the European Union resumed face-to-face talks on a post-Brexit trade deal Saturday, with both sides sounding gloomy about striking an agreement in the little time that remains. EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier returned to London to meet his U.K. counterpart David Frost. If there is no deal, New Year’s Day will bring huge disruption, with the overnight imposition of tariffs and other barriers to U.K.-EU trade. That will hurt both sides, but the burden will fall most heavily on Britain, which does almost half its trade with the EU. The U.K. claims the EU is failing to respect its independence and making demands it has not placed on other countries with whom it has free trade deals, such as Canada.
Another week gone, Brexit trade talks remain stuck
With less than two months to go before the U.K. exits the EU's economic orbit, trade deal talks resume in London. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)BRUSSELS – The European Union said Friday that another week of talks with Britain on a new trade deal has gone with barely any progress. Barnier emerged from a COVID-19 quarantine on Friday and said that after a week of remote video talks the “same significant divergences persist." Barnier was on Friday briefing EU member states and the EU parliament, which all have to give their consent to any deal reached with the U.K. Britain's chief negotiator, David Frost, agreed there were still major differences but said it was worth continuing the talks.
EU, UK still have 'fundamental' differences in trade talks
BRUSSELS – With the European Union's chief negotiator Michel Barnier in quarantine, trade talks with the United Kingdom continued by videoconference this week, though the optimism expressed last week seemed to have faded. The talks were shifted to a videoconference last week when an EU official tested positive for the coronavirus, forcing Barnier into a quarantine until at least Thursday. Though the U.K. left the EU on Jan. 31, it remains within the bloc’s tariff-free single market and customs union until the end of this year. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey warned that the long-term impact of a no-deal Brexit on the British economy would be greater than the long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The bank expects the British economy to end the year around 12% smaller and to not recover its virus-related losses until early 2022.
Brexit trade negotiations suspended because of COVID-19 case
The Brexit trade negotiations have been suspended Thursday Nov. 19, 2020, at a crucial stage because an EU negotiator has tested positive for the coronavirus and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said that we have decided to suspend the negotiations at our level for a short period. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, FILE)BRUSSELS – As if the Brexit trade negotiations were not tortuous enough, the coronavirus added a twist at a crucial stage on Thursday when top-level talks had to be suspended because an EU negotiator tested positive for COVID-19. It added uncertainty to the negotiations as a deadline looms ever closer and both sides are still divided on three key issues. Only on Wednesday a top European Union official said that trade talks with the United Kingdom still face “substantial work” that might spill over into next week. Both sides had hoped to get a trade deal by then to protect hundreds of thousands of jobs and businesses that could suffer if Brexit leads to a sharp end to existing trade relations.
EU, UK enter tension-filled week seeking post-Brexit deal
(AP Photo/Francisco Seco)BRUSSELS – European Union and British negotiators on Monday entered yet another tension-filled week as they sought a belated post-Brexit trade deal that needs to be vetted and get legislative approval before a Jan. 1 cutoff date. The U.K. already left the EU on Jan. 31, but a transition period when EU rules apply to trade and other issues runs until the end of next month. Both sides had hoped to get a trade deal by then to save hundreds of thousands of jobs that could be at stake if Brexit amounts to a brutal cliff edge divorce. And the EU insisted that it wouldn't be forced into any deal because of time pressure. At some point, it will come to EU and UK leaders to settle the final divisive issues.
UK defiant even after House of Lords rejects Brexit bill
With less than two months to go before the U.K. exits the EU's economic orbit, trade deal talks resume in London. But the government said it would restore the rejected sections when the bill returns to the House of Commons in late November or December. Critics say it could undermine the foundations of Northern Ireland peace by leading to border checks along the currently invisible frontier between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Britain and the EU say any post-Brexit trade deal must be agreed upon by mid-November so it can be ratified by the end of the year. Although Johnson said Sunday that a trade deal is “there to be done,” the two sides still accuse one another of refusing to compromise.
UK, EU make one more push for elusive Brexit trade deal
With less than two months to go before the U.K. exits the EU's economic orbit, trade deal talks resume in London on Monday. The Internal Market Bill gives the U.K. power to override sections of the agreement dealing with Northern Ireland trade. Environment Secretary George Eustice said that fears the bill could lead to border checks between Northern Ireland and EU member Ireland — something that could undermine Northern Ireland peace — were unfounded. “There will be no need for checks on the Northern Ireland border,” he told the BBC. Britain and the EU both say they want a deal, but their views of what that means are fundamentally at odds.
EU: Brexit trade talks still face 'too many difficulties'
In a Twitter comment later, Barnier said that “Despite EU efforts to find solutions, very serious divergences remain." “The list of fundamental divergences remains long," said German MEP David McAllister, the legislature's top Brexit official. Barnier insisted again Wednesday that the EU “is prepared for all scenarios.”In the trade negotiations, Britain wants to retain as many of the advantages of EU membership as possible without having to live by the bloc’s rules. The EU is insisting on stringent trade regulations to avoid having a giant buccaneering trade partner on its doorstep that could freely undercut the bloc’s state aid, social and environmental standards. After negotiating in Brussels this week, the talks are set to move to London again in the coming days.
AP Explains: Why are UK and EU still arguing over Brexit?
Her successor, Johnson, secured his own withdrawal agreement with the EU in October 2019, allowing for the U.K. to leave on Jan. 31. The two sides are hoping to agree a free trade deal with no tariffs and no quotas. So it is demanding strict legal guarantees on the governance of any trade deal. The EU fears Britain will slash social and environmental standards and pump state money into U.K. industries, becoming a low-regulation economic rival on the bloc’s doorstep. As well as the economic impact, a no-deal exit would endanger everything from U.K. police forces’ access to EU crime databases to U.K.-EU cooperation in science.
UK-EU trade talks back on after bloc offers olive branch
But Britain seized on conciliatory comments by EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, saying they offered the chance of a breakthrough. Barnier has already agreed to “intensify” talks — a key U.K. demand — and to discuss the legal text of an agreement. The two sides have been trying to strike a trade deal since the U.K. left the EU on Jan. 31. The bloc also accuses Britain of seeking the kind of unfettered access to its markets usually reserved for EU members. If there is no deal, businesses on both sides of the English Channel face tariffs and other obstacles to trade starting Jan. 1.
UK's Lords condemns Brexit bill as UK-EU talks stay stalled
Britains foreign minister says there are only narrow differences remaining in trade talks between the U.K. and the European Union. The U.K. government says the bill is needed as an insurance policy to ensure smooth trade among all parts of the U.K. no matter what happens after Brexit. The legislation has soured talks between Britain and the EU on a new trade deal. U.K.-EU talks ground to a halt last week, with each side calling for the other to compromise in order to secure agreement. He told British businesses to prepare for a no-deal economic break with the EU at the end of the year.
Top UK bishops slam 'disastrous' bill as Brexit talks teeter
LONDON – The U.K.’s most senior Anglican bishops warned Monday that legislation breaching part of the Brexit divorce agreement the government signed with the European Union will set a “disastrous precedent” and could undermine peace in Northern Ireland. The top archbishops in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland condemned the Internal Market Bill in a letter published in the Financial Times. They said the bill “asks the country’s highest law-making body to equip a government minister to break international law. The bill has triggered a crisis of trust between Britain and the EU, who have been attempting to strike a new trade deal since the U.K. left the bloc on Jan. 31. The bill soured talks aimed at securing a new trade deal between Britain and the EU before the post-Brexit transition period ends.
UK minister: Door 'still ajar' for post-Brexit talks with EU
Britains foreign minister says there are only narrow differences remaining in trade talks between the U.K. and the European Union. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)LONDON – A senior British official said Sunday the door is “still ajar” for post-Brexit talks to continue with the European Union if officials in the bloc change their position on key points. Michael Gove's comments came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said Friday that the trade talks are “over” unless there is a “fundamental” change of position from the EU. With just weeks to go until the end-of-year deadline, Johnson said the U.K. needed to get ready for leaving the EU with no trade deal. “We’re certainly not saying that if they do change their position we can’t talk to them,” he told the BBC.
UK says EU trade talks 'over' but bloc sees room for a deal
Britains foreign minister says there are only narrow differences remaining in trade talks between the U.K. and the European Union. The EU said it was ready to continue negotiating, but Britain declared the talks as good as dead. “The trade talks are over," Johnson's spokesman James Slack said. While Australia has no comprehensive trade deal with the EU, Johnson insisted Britain would “prosper mightily” under those conditions, which would mean tariffs and other barriers between the U.K. and its biggest trading partner. The EU says Britain can’t have the same trade terms as Canada because of its proximity to the bloc and its economic clout.
Brexit trade talks: both EU and UK dig in heels
European Commission's Head of Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom Michel Barnier leaves after addressing a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. Ahead of Britain's angry retort to the summit conclusions, few doubted that Johnson will lean toward continuing the talks for a few more weeks. Overall, the EU says Britain is trying to retain the advantages of EU membership without the commitment to play by the bloc’s rules. Britain says it is baffled it can't get a quick deal with generous free trade concessions like Canada got a few years ago. It left trust in the Johnson government shattered, and the European Parliament, which must approve any deal, has vowed not to approve any trade deal if the U.K. government doesn’t withdraw this legislation.
On eve of UK deadline, trade talks with EU still stalled
EU nations are already looking to the end of the month, when they see the ultimate deadline for an agreement if they still want to get it through legal vetting and parliamentary approvals before the deadline of Jan. 1. A trade deal for the EU and the recently departed U.K. has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of jobs and not exacerbate the economic crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The EU says Britain is trying to retain the advantages of EU membership without the commitment to play by the bloc's rules. Johnson says the EU must shift its position if it wants a deal, and insists the U.K. is quite prepared to walk away without one. ___Follow all AP stories on the Brexit trade talks at https://apnews.com/Brexit
Germany, France call for UK concessions in EU-UK trade talks
This would be very bad news for everyone, for the EU and even more so for the United Kingdom." Speaking after a meeting of EU ministers that he chaired, Roth added that “it's now up to the U.K. to make the decisive steps." He said U.K. negotiator David Frost would brief the prime minister before EU leaders meet about whether recent intensive talks have made a deal possible. Johnson says the EU must shift its position if it wants a deal, and insists the U.K. is quite prepared to walk away without one. France warned, that could cost the U.K. the unfettered access it wants to the huge and wealthy continental market.
Yet another Brexit deadline looms; trade talks in rut
Now, the end of a transition period is drawing close and both sides have to decide what kind of trade deal, if any, they want. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has long billed the two-day EU summit that starts Thursday as an ultimate deadline. On Monday, Johnson's spokesman said the U.K. still viewed this week's talks as crucial. After months of talks, Britain and the EU appear to remain deadlocked on the key issues of fishing and rules to ensure fair economic competition. ___Follow all AP stories on the Brexit trade talks at https://apnews.com/Brexit.
Progress is the word in Brexit trade talks before summit
(Brian Lawless/PA via AP)BRUSSELS – The European Union finally sees progress in trade talks with the United Kingdom, but insists a momentary change in mood between the oft-bickering sides is no guarantee that an agreement will be delivered on time, officials said Thursday. “I would say that the mood appears to have changed," Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said when he hosted European Council President Charles Michel. It does need substance to follow the mood," he added, urging the negotiators meeting in London this week to speed up progress. In diplomatic delegations in Brussels where member states eagerly follow the talks EU negotiator Michel Barnier has with his counterpart David Frost, there is the same sense of change in the air. In London, the government said the talks would go on straight through to next week's EU summit.
UK, EU leaders to discuss Brexit, free trade talks
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a press conference at an EU summit in Brussels, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. “Where there is a will, there is a way," she said in an assessment of the state of play two weeks before an EU summit to specifically address the post-Brexit trade issue. I have to say simply: that’s bitter.”Barnier insisted it had made negotiations on the trade deal even more difficult. The EU opened legal proceedings against Britain and EU Council President Charles Michel said after an EU summit that the 27 leaders were united that “the Withdrawal Agreement must be implemented in full. Johnson urged the EU to show some flexibility and grant the U.K. the kind of trade deal it already has agreed with Canada.
EU-UK spat over Brexit deal clouds key trade talks this week
At center on screen is EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier joining by videoconference. After a short meeting between the two sides in Brussels, U.K. Brexit planning minister Michael Gove said Britain wouldn't withdraw its Internal Market Bill, which includes clauses to override parts of the Brexit withdrawal treaty. “Those clauses will remain in that bill” as a safety net in case the U.K. and the EU don't reach a trade agreement, Gove said. The rift means that talks between the two sides' trade negotiators will begin Tuesday under an ominous cloud. Sefcovic warned Monday that Britain shouldn't try to use the withdrawal agreement and its Northern Ireland provisions as “a bargaining chip” in trade negotiations.
EU leader Michel lashes out at Britain over post-Brexit plan
European Commission's Head of Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom Michel Barnier, right, meets with European Council President Charles Michel at the EU Council building in Brussels, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. The United Kingdom is a founding nation of the United Nations and a member of the Security Council, and the country has been a global diplomatic juggernaut for centuries. Michel's ire was raised when Johnson said he would contemplate breaking an agreement he himself signed with the EU. The withdrawal agreement officially allowed the United Kingdom to leave the bloc last Jan. 31. Northern Ireland has special status in the withdrawal agreement because it is the only part of the U.K. that shares a land border with an EU country.
Sterling soars to 4-month high as traders eye imminent draft Brexit deal
Sterling rose sharply against the dollar Tuesday after optimistic comments on Brexit from European negotiator Michel Barnier were backed up by reports that a draft legal text over the divorce was being drawn up. He added that "any agreement must work for everyone," saying it is "high time to turn good intentions into a legal text." By the mid-afternoon, one report suggested that a draft deal was in the works according to two separate sources familiar with negotiations. On that report, sterling took a further leg up, hitting $1.275 at 3:40 p.m. London time. However, expectations of a Brexit deal moved the currency about 3% higher earlier this month.cnbc.com
Sterling shoots higher following 'constructive' Brexit talks between UK and EU
Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Stephen Barclay (L) shakes hands with European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier before their meeting at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, on October 11, 2019. Last-ditch talks between the chief Brexit negotiators of the European Union and the United Kingdom have concluded with a spokesperson for the European side describing them as "constructive." U.K. Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and the EU's Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom Exiting the European Union, Michel Barnier, met in Brussels Friday morning. EU spokesperson Mina Andreeva told reporters the pair were continuing to work toward a deal, and that talks had been "constructive." The latter is a constituent nation of the United Kingdom.cnbc.com