(Reuters) In the months leading up to the Brexit talks between the European Union and Great Britain, insiders and media reports suggest that an agreement on a trade deal could emerge shortly before the end of the transition period. A senior EU diplomat said an agreement would be reached later. According to another EU diplomat, it has not yet dried up. “It can still go both ways,” he said. An agreement can only be reached after Christmas. A Sky News reporter quoted a British government representative as saying in a statement this afternoon. However, this was soon contradicted in government circles and other media reports. An insider said talks were ongoing.
Earlier, EU circles had said that the European Commission had asked member states’ representatives to prepare for Thursday’s meeting in the event of a Brexit agreement. The three said they made the announcement during a meeting with the commission. “The deal looks as good as it gets there,” said one diplomat. It’s about whether it will be announced by day or Thursday. Preparations have begun for the speedy and temporary implementation of a contract. The European Commission declined to comment.
Great Britain has not been an official member of the European Union since January. However, there is a transition period until December 31, during which time the rules of the union remain in force. If it expires without a new agreement, the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will apply to trade. Experts fear high tariffs and disturbances at the border.
Most recently, the European Union and the UK have moved on to important issues. This includes the future EU fishing rights for British waters and the rules of fair competition for companies on both sides. “There are still important areas of disagreement,” said Robert Genrich, the British housing minister. Currently there is not enough progress.
Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin still thought a deal was possible. “Overall, I believe there should be an agreement on progress,” he told Irish broadcaster RTE. If a breakthrough is made on Wednesday or Thursday, the European delegation will also be able to act on a text on Christmas Day.
EU Chief Negotiator Michelle Barnier announced on Tuesday that the EU was making a “last resort” for a Brexit trade deal with the UK, despite disagreements over fisheries rights. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he will not accept any agreement that would undermine British sovereignty.