Thereafter, the EU and Britain can continue to negotiate if they wish, but both sides should act in accordance with World Trade Organisation (WTO) customs rules. The UK would have no access to the EU energy market, no police and judicial cooperation agreement, and the EU`s separate decision on UK financial services that could operate in the internal market could be jeopardised. If an agreement is reached by the end of the year, it must also have been signed by eu heads of state and government and the British Parliament, if only in haste. If necessary, the European Parliament will vote next year with its teeth clenched. In the meantime, the agreement may enter into force provisionally. The reason why an agreement could be swift if compromises are reached is that after all these rounds of negotiations, the practical and legal issues are clear to both sides. On Friday, we heard that Michel Barnier was about to propose that between 15 and 18% of the fishing quota caught by EU fleets in British waters be returned to the UK as part of a free trade agreement. Subsequently, a number of European diplomats considered this to be one of the “many proposals circulating”. Most of the roles will be as security, marshalling and office work. Britain`s future relationship with the EU remains uncertain, but some things will be different in 2021. Despite all the talk of “significant persistent differences,” the EU and Britain could agree very quickly on a deal if – and this is a multi-million dollar affair – both sides are willing to move.
If the UK holds back compromises in the hope of getting more concessions from Brussels at the last minute, it could succeed when it comes to fish. But on the three sensitive issues, red and raw, which have divided from the beginning: fisheries rights, competition rules and governance of the agreement, “considerable divergences” remain. But whatever happens on the fish front – and Brussels knows it has big compromises to make – so the EU wants a deal with the UK, it is unlikely to let go of its insistence on two other issues: common competition rules and a tough way to monitor them. . “Almost there” is a phrase I learned years ago from one of the BBC`s producers in Gaza. Arla`s British boss says he will have to fill out an additional 30,000 pieces of paperwork from next year. . .