The EU and UK are entering “the last week or two” of “substantive” post-Brexit trade negotiations, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has actually told Sky News.
With the Brexit transition duration set to end in bit more than a month’s time, Mr Raab suggested talks might soon be reaching a conclusion.
However, he contacted the EU to accept a “point of concept” on fisheries, which has so far been a key sticking point in reaching a deal.
” As we leave the transition (duration), we are an independent seaside state – we’ve got to be able to control our waters,” the foreign secretary informed Sophy Ridge on Sunday.
” We can speak about shifts and things like that and we acknowledge the effect it has on other countries around Europe.
” But that concept comes with sovereignty, features leaving not simply the EU however the transition duration.
” I think the answer is, can the EU accept that point of principle that features us leaving the political club?”
In person settlements on a post-Brexit trade offer in between the UK and EU recently resumed after Brussels’ primary mediator, Michel Barnier, and his team had been forced to quarantine due to a positive COVID-19 test amongst their number.
Speaking in London previously, Mr Barnier informed reporters: “Work continues – even on a Sunday.”
Mr Raab appeared to decline what is reported to be the EU’s present deal on fishing – to return between 15-18% of fish stocks currently caught by EU fleets in British waters.
He said: “Does that sound right? 18% of control over fish in our own waters. That can’t be right.”
Asked if a possible offer might collapse over the issue of fisheries, Mr Raab included: “I believe it’s important the EU comprehend the point of principle.
” If they show the pragmatism, the goodwill and the excellent faith that, in fairness, has surrounded the last leg of the talks – and definitely we have actually shown our flexibility – I think there’s an offer to be done.”
On other impressive concerns, the foreign secretary said it “seems like there’s development towards higher respect” for the UK’s position on so-called “level playing field” commitments – a set of post-Brexit typical rules and standards.
Mr Raab stated the coronavirus pandemic – and the accompanying recession – “ought to focus all of our minds on doing everything we can to provide the economy a little bit of an increase – both on the UK side however likewise on the continental European side”.
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And, asked when the final due date for a deal may be, the foreign secretary responded: “I’m a bit reticent to offer a supreme backstop since the goalposts sometimes shift on the EU side.
” However I believe we enjoy the last week or two of substantive negotiations. To be honest with you, the EU do move the goalposts.”
Without a trade offer being concurred prior to 31 December, the EU and UK will likely trade from 1 January on World Trade Organisation terms – with the establishment of tariffs in both instructions.