The prime minister noted the desire for a deal but expressed disappointment that no further progress had been made in the past two weeks, the Downing St.
Today was a defining day for Brexit, in the eyes of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He himself had set as a limit the summit of heads of state and prime ministers of the European Union on Thursday and Friday in Brussels to reach an agreement or it would be time to “move on” and leave the European Union on December 31 “without agreement”.
But the president of the European Commission, the German Úrsula von der Leyen, confined by the coronavirus, informed her yesterday – in a digital conference – not to leave the talks on safety and fishing because “There was possibility to get an agreement in two weeks, ”after the lawyers finished reading the 500 pages of legal documents.
Lord Frost, Brexit negotiator for the British, also informed Boris that there was a possibility of a deal in time for the end of the year. Boris decided to postpone his ambitions and his spokesman explained the reasons.
“The prime minister noted the desire for a deal, but expressed disappointment that no further progress was made in the past two weeks,” according to the Downing St.
The president of the European Commission, Von der Lewyen said that “the European Union is working on an agreement But not at any price. The conditions must be correct ”, he clarified.
The biggest differences in achieving the free trade agreement that Great Britain seeks are the serious differences with France and Spain over fishing rights in the waters around the island. So far they have not achieved a common text to get around those differences.
The European Summit will give Boris Johnson the dimension of the political will of his former partners on the continent to facilitate an agreement. French President Emmanuel Macron is the toughest. He has threatened Boris to bury the free trade agreement if current fishing quotas are not preserved for French fishermen. There are already pitched battles in the North Sea and the English Channel between French and British fishing boats, which can only increase. This is the grand “flashpoint” for a deal.
The Europeans were very hard on Boris at the top: accept our marketing conditions or wait for a No Agreement. The leading voice was led by French President Emmanuel Macron with a non-binding message, after speaking on the phone last Saturday with Boris, warning him.
European heads of state and prime ministers urged Great Britain to “move” on this chessboard that negotiations have become. Macron faces an election in 2022 and it will defend the fishermen and the coastal community, who are suffering from Covid and its economic consequences.
“Under no conditions can our fishermen be euthanized by Brexit,” Macron said. ”We did not choose Brexit. It is the choice of the British people. So protecting our fishermen’s access to British waters, finding a good compromise for our fishermen – and I’m talking about all the European countries involved, including France – is an important point of discussion for us, ”Macron continued.
French fishermen enjoy the 84 percent of the quota for cod. But they are more flexible in fishing for Scottish and Irish waters, whose governments are openly pro-European.
On what diplomats call a “level playing field,” Macron wants to ensure that neither side cuts or lowers standards and over-subsidizes parts of its economy. to give companies competitive advantages in the market.
“I want to be clear. The agreement is not going to be made at any price. If the conditions are not met, there may be no agreement. We are ready for it. France is ready, we are in the process of finalizing it. France is ready for the No Deal ”, challenged Macron.
Boris awaited the words of Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, who presides over the EU in this period. “We want an agreement but of course not at any cost. It should be a fair agreement that both sides can enjoy. But all efforts are worth it and, of course, we will support the negotiations of Michel Barnier and Ursula von der Leyen ”said Merkel.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared that he will make a decision on Friday, at the end of the two-day summit in Brussels. Negotiations are likely to continue beyond the summit because neither the EU nor Britain can add to the Covid epidemic and its consequences, the uncertainty and costs of a No Deal at the end of the year, when the transition period ends. of Brexit.
But the rewrite of the Brexit agreement that Boris Johnson voted for in the British Parliament, it will be unacceptable to the EU and unenforceable.