Brussels, Belgium – February 3: European Union Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier addresses a press conference in Brussels, Belgium on February 3, 2020.
“Despite the difficulties we face, if both sides are willing to work constructively, if both sides are willing to compromise and if we can make progress in the next few days based on the legal texts and reach an agreement. Barnier told the European Parliament.
His comment gave traders some hope that a trade agreement had been reached between the UK and the EU Their talks stalled On the same three issues over the months.
UK Prime Minister on Friday Boris Johnson It was sad when exporters were warned to prepare for any deal with the EU. A government spokesman said on the same day that European negotiators would not have to travel to London this week unless the EU changed its policy on negotiations.
British officials were disappointed when European leaders called on the UK to “take the necessary steps to make an agreement possible” late last week.
These tensions halted the talks, but the EU said the UK government was ready to return to the table as soon as it chose to do so.
“We want the two sides to make the necessary compromises to do our part to reach an agreement and we will do so until the last day,” Bernier told lawmakers Wednesday.
“Our doors are always open until the end but … we are firm,” he said.
The UK suspended its EU membership in January, but it is following EU rules until the end of the year so both sides can work on new trade arrangements. At present these are different from the zero-tariff rule. Failure to develop new trade rules means that exporters face higher costs and barriers when selling goods between the two alliances.
UK Gov. Michael Gove told Sky News on Sunday that the chances of reaching an agreement were less than 50%. Earlier this month, he assigned it with a 66% probability. Negotiations on fisheries, competition rules and future oversight of their potential contract have not yet been compromised.
In addition, the EU stated that it would not sign a new trade agreement even if the UK government was not fully committed to the withdrawal agreement they signed earlier this year, and this paved the way for the UK to exit the alliance. The London government has tabled a bill overtaking parts of these previous agreements and the EU has demanded that the law be amended to honor their previous agreement.