UK says EU trade deal will be difficult if no progress before October

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain warned the European Union on Thursday that it would be difficult to conclude a Brexit free trade deal by the end of the year unless broad agreement had been reached by October. Britain left the EU on Jan

Reuters June 19, 2020 00:07:00 IST
UK says EU trade deal will be difficult if no progress before October

UK says EU trade deal will be difficult if no progress before October

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain warned the European Union on Thursday that it would be difficult to conclude a Brexit free trade deal by the end of the year unless broad agreement had been reached by October.

Britain left the EU on Jan. 31 but talks have so far made little headway on agreeing a new trade deal with the bloc by the time a status-quo transition arrangement ends in December.

"If we haven't secured significant progress by October, then it will be difficult," said Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove, a Brexit supporter and one of the most influential members of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government. There was however no firm cut-off date, he added.

Talks have snagged on EU fishing access to British waters, British compliance with EU rules aimed at a level playing field and the customs arrangements for Northern Ireland.

French President Emmanuel Macron is due to hold talks with Johnson in London on Thursday.

"We've agreed on both sides to energise and intensify the talks," British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told LBC radio. "We don't want to hang around - we're not going to wait for this to be dragged out into the autumn and the winter."

Any deal would require ratification by both sides - a process which could take several months in the 27-member EU.

Gove said he did not expect businesses in Northern Ireland to face higher import costs as a result of Brexit and that import declarations would not be required for goods going from Britain to Northern Ireland.

Asked whether those sending goods to Northern Ireland from Britain would have to submit entry summary declarations, Gove declined to answer directly.

"There will be some new safety and security information," he said, adding that more details would be given in the summer. "We are seeking to minimise the overall burden on business."

Previously the government has said that entry summary declarations and import declarations would be required for such movement of goods.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton, writing by William James; editing by Stephen Addison)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.