This morning the EU’s lead negotiator, Michel Barnier, during his speech at the European Parliament, said that an EU-UK trade deal is possible if both sides are willing to make the necessary compromises.
This comes after that Barnier and his team were told by UK not to come to London this week unless they had changed their position on several issues. Another request from Downing Street was that the EU began the process of writing down a legal text to show that a progress was made.
Michel Barnier says that the EU is ready to do this and that he and his team would have done so if they could have travelled to London this week.
EU and UK are still quite distant on their positions (in particular the so-called level playing field, governance and fisheries); however, the prospect of a successful outcome has risen significantly in recent weeks.
UK wants a Canada-style trade agreement, but EU is not willing to offer this, pointing out that the current talks are about securing a zero tariff and zero quota deal. Furthermore, because of the proximity and interdependence of economies, it is a vastly different relationship to the one with Canada.
Barnier also warned that talks would fail unless the EU gets fair access to UK waters. However, in conclusion he added: “Our door will always remain open right up until the very end.”
The European Council president Charles Michel released a brief statement too: “We want a deal but not at any cost.” He added: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”.
To stay up to date on the Brexit negotiations follow us on our social media (www.well-tax.com).