The Union flag flies above a souvenir stand in front of Big Ben in London, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. Britain’s foreign minister says there are only narrow differences remaining in trade talks between the U.K. and the European Union. But Dominic Raab insists the bloc must show more “flexibility” if it wants to make a deal. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
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UK minister: Door 'still ajar' for post-Brexit talks with EU

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A senior British official said Sunday the door is “still ajar” for post-Brexit talks to continue with the European Union if officials in the bloc change their position on key points.

Michael Gove's comments came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said Friday that the trade talks are “over” unless there is a “fundamental” change of position from the EU. With just weeks to go until the end-of-year deadline, Johnson said the UK needed to get ready for leaving the EU with no trade deal.

But Gove on Sunday left room for talks to agree on a deal so that the UK can avoid the high trade tariffs it faces from Dec. 31, when the transition period ends.

He accused EU officials of not being serious about making compromises, and said they would have to back down if chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier is to resume negotiations in London this week.

“We’re certainly not saying that if they do change their position we can’t talk to them,” he told the BBC.

Britain officially left the EU on Jan 31, but remains part of its economic structures until Dec 31. The two sides have been trying to strike a deal on trade and other relations before then, but months of talks have been stalled on the issue of fishing and rules to ensure fair competition.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said this week that the EU still wanted a deal, but “not at any price.”

Britain charges that the EU is to blame for not giving in to the UK’s demand for a generous free trade agreement like the one the bloc has with Canada. London also accuses the EU of seeking to impose demands it hasn’t placed on other countries it has free trade deals with.

The Confederation of British Industry and other business groups warned that companies face unprecedented challenges with the double whammy of the coronavirus pandemic and the uncertainty on trading with the EU.

“With each day that passes, business resilience is chipped away. A swift deal is the single most effective way to support recovery in communities across Europe,” the groups said.

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


6 Comments
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Once we've driven over Beachy Head, we'll be in tip-top form to negotiate.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Door 'still ajar' , from a the political perspective of conducting a negotiation, half open, or half closed?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It is going to come as a rude surprise to these arrogant Brits that come January 1st there is no provision for the EU to legally conduct trade with the UK and all trade and possibly travel comes to a halt. UK makes the assumption that the EU will offer the same terms of trade they offered Australia. Australia negotiated in good faith. UK has not. The EU is under no obligation to trade with UK without a signed agreement. Bojo and his band of reprobates will be crying like babies when they find the gates to Europe closed to them until they agree to things they don't want to agree to.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Desert Tortoise

The EU is under no obligation to trade

Fear mongering, much? The "EU" doesn't trade. Companies based in the EU trade with the UK. In the worst-case scenario, with no deal whatsoever, they may face tariffs of around 10%. Which is the case right now in the US for many key imports from key importers: China, Canada, the EU, Mexico, etc., since the Trump tariffs were introduced. And some of those tariffs are 25%.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fear mongering, much? The "EU" doesn't trade. Companies based in the EU trade with the UK. In the worst-case scenario, with no deal whatsoever, they may face tariffs of around 10%. Which is the case right now in the US for many key imports from key importers: China, Canada, the EU, Mexico, etc., since the Trump tariffs were introduced. And some of those tariffs are 25%

Without a signed agreement there is no legal basis for trade, or for travel. The worst case scenario could be no trade either way until UK meets EU demands. Merry Christmas Britain. And Happy New Year.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And wouldn't it frost your scones if the French and German navies defended EU fishing fleets off the UK.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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