According to Ireland’s Foreign Minister, the EU has now stepped up no deal preparations in fear an agreement will not be reached before the end of this month.
Although talks will continue this week, he claimed the “mood” in Brussels had now moved towards planning for a no deal rather than finding a compromise on a trade agreement.
He said: “I think there is a great deal of frustration on the EU side, not just within the EU negotiating team, but also across member states
“Many of the ministers I spoke to today are just getting increasingly frustrated and increasingly resigned to the fact that there may be no deal
“In Brussels, the mood is starting to shift to contingency planning for a no deal as opposed to the compromises that are necessary to get a deal done”.
Today, the Irish official had also warned Wednesday was the final deadline for a deal to be agreed.
He also called for further intervention at the national level in order to break the deadlock.
He said earlier today: “Beyond Wednesday we’re into a European Council meeting and I think if there is no deal by Thursday, then leaders within the EU will certainly start to think about contingency planning for a no trade deal Brexit.”
Today, Boris Johnson and EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, held a call to discuss the current state of play.
It was the second call the two have held in the last week and lasted for 90 minutes with both concluding the areas of divergence still remain.
Mr Johnson will now travel to Brussels in order to attempt to break the current impasse between the two sides.
“Whilst we do not consider this process to be closed, things are looking very tricky and there’s every chance we are not going to get there.”
It is thought Mr Barnier revealed the Wednesday deadline during a meeting with MEPs today.
The EU needs any deal to be ratified by both the European Parliament and due to its nature, national governments.
Due to the short timetable, Brussels may ask national government to ratify the deal at a later date in order for it to be implemented as soon as possible.
The areas of divergence being the level playing field, the dispute mechanism and fisheries have all remained throughout crunch talks.
It is thought the EU’s chief negotiator was pressured not to back down to the UK’s demands over fisheries last week.
At the heart of the issue is the quantity of fish caught by EU ships and the amount of access they are given.
If the two sides failed to reach a deal, they will revert to annual negotiations on fisheries from January 1.
Published at Mon, 07 Dec 2020 20:17:00 +0000