EU/UK Trade Talks News and Analysis:

  • High levels trade talks on Monday.
  • No extension to the transition period.
  • A new series of EU/UK future relation negotiations.

EU and UK Trade Talks May Get a Re-Boot in the Coming Weeks

UK PM Boris Johnson and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will speak via video link on Monday afternoon, June 15, in the latest attempt to get EU/UK trade talks back on track. The talks have made no real progress so far and with the UK refusing to extend talks further, this high level meeting, along with a new set of discussions just announced, may well break the current deadlock. And a breakthrough is needed as the EU Commission has just formally accepted that the UK’s refusal to extend the trade talks is final. After speaking with UK cabinet member Michael Gove, who reiterated that there will be no extension of the transition period, EU Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic said that while the EU remains open to an extension, they accept that the UK’s position is definitive.

The EU and UK negotiating teams have also just announced further negotiating rounds will take place in July, August and September, ‘in order to intensify the talks and to create the most conducive conditions for concluding and ratifying a deal before the end of 2020’. In addition, the Chief Negotiators from both sides with their teams. ‘will meet as necessary in a more restricted format to ensure progress in the negotiations’.

While these additional talks may add some impetus to the negotiations, the two sides remain far apart and entrenched over the role of the European Court of Justice, a level playing field for UK and European businesses and EU access to UK fishing waters. Both sides continue to blame each other over a lack of movement and it will take a major backdown by one or both sides to get the talks moving forward. Any sign of progress in these talks will boost sentiment in both the Euro and Sterling and help steer the conversation away from the economic destruction caused to both sides from the COVID-19 virus.

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