Brussels and London are calling for “an extra effort.” And the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, have pledged this Saturday afternoon after a telephone conversation to resume talks this Sunday due to the impossibility of an agreement “at this time “.
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“I have had a telephone call with Boris Johnson about the negotiations between the EU and the United Kingdom,” explained Von der Leyen in a statement without questions after the conversation in which he read a statement agreed by the parties: “We celebrate the fact that progress has been made in many areas. However, significant differences remain on three fundamental issues: level playing field [el recurrente level playing field] governance and fisheries. Both parties have stressed that no agreement is feasible if these problems are not resolved. While we recognize the seriousness of these differences, we agree that our negotiating teams should go the extra mile to assess whether they can be resolved. We therefore instruct our main negotiators to meet tomorrow in Brussels. We’ll talk again Monday night. ”
The internal market bill, which introduces clauses that violate the Brexit withdrawal agreement, is scheduled to go through the British Parliament on Monday.
“We will see if there is a way forward,” tweeted EU chief negotiator Michel Bernier: “Work continues tomorrow.”
This Friday, the meetings stopped because the negotiations for a relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom as of January 1 entered a phase without the possibility of moving forward. Thus, the negotiators decided to interrupt the talks this Friday afternoon after an intense week in London and to join the conversation this Saturday afternoon between the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
The ball was passed to political leaders after the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, had reached the limits of his term. Now it is up to the heads of state and government to try to find compromises. If not, there may be no agreement.
“After a week of intense negotiations in London, together with David Frost [negociador jefe británico]”explained on Friday the EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier,” we have agreed today [por el viernes] the conditions for an agreement are not met due to significant divergences on a level playing field [el célebre level playing field], governance and fisheries. We have agreed to pause the talks to report the status of the negotiations to our superiors. President Von der Leyen and Prime Minister Johnson will discuss the situation tomorrow afternoon [por el sábado]”.
There are four weeks until January 1, 2021 and there is still no agreement. And even if a magic solution emerged and the agreement was sanctified by the EU leaders at the summit on December 10 and 11, the European Parliament would still have to meet to give its approval and, what is more complicated, than the unpredictable The British Parliament did not come as a surprise as it seems increasingly clear that an agreement with the EU will never be compatible with the promises of the Brexiters for years because his promises were not compatible with the plausibility.
With less than a month to go to the end of the transition period, EU capitals are also increasingly nervous at the prospect of a no-deal and what potential compromise might be possible to avoid such a scenario. The governments, overwhelmed by the blockade of Hungary and Poland to the recovery funds and the budgets for 2021-2027, are beginning to get nervous about the possibility that a hypothetical agreement will arrive too closed with elements that do not convince them: there are countries that defend that a no deal is better than a bad deal with too many concessions to Boris Johnson, even at the risk that on January 1 there will be tariffs on all trade transactions between the EU and the UK, and vice versa.
And, as if that were not enough, the draft reform of the British Internal Market law is still on the table, which rewrites the withdrawal agreement by which the United Kingdom left the EU on January 31, 2020. A law that The EU has taken it to the EU Court of Justice and it has said was incompatible with any agreement with London. Barnier himself insisted on Wednesday to the EU ambassadors that if that law ends up being ratified, the Brexit talks will enter a “crisis” due to the failure of confidence.
“Going back to reality, the future is something else,” said Bernd Lang, of the Brexit committee of the European Parliament and chairman of the Trade committee: “The same old dead end, the same old procedure. Von der Leyen and Boris Johnson will speak on the phone Saturday. There will be no deal at any price. ”