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UK says no to more EU trade talks

39 Comments
By William James and Philip Blenkinsop

Britain sees no basis to resume trade talks with the European Union unless there is a fundamental change in approach from Brussels, chief negotiator David Frost said on Monday, dashing earlier optimism that negotiations could resume.

Earlier, Michael Gove, the minister overseeing Brexit, had said there was agreement on the need to intensify trade talks and work on legal texts, after the negotiations broke down last week.

The two sides are each pressing the other to move first in the high-stakes talks on a deal to protect billions of pounds worth of trade once Britain ends a status quo arrangement with the EU on Jan. 1.

A no-deal finale to Britain's five-year Brexit drama would disrupt the operations of manufacturers, retailers, farmers and nearly every other sector - just as the economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic worsens.

Frost said on Twitter he had held a constructive discussion with EU counterpart Michel Barnier, but added: "The EU still needs to make a fundamental change in approach to the talks and make clear it has done so. We will stay in close touch."

Earlier, Barnier tweeted that the EU remained available "to intensify talks in London this week, on all subjects, and based on legal texts".

Gove welcomed Barnier's message: "There has been a constructive move on the part of the European Union and... I prefer to look forward in optimism rather than necessarily to look back in anger."

Gove's words raised expectations that trade talks might resume, but a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson made clear that was not an immediate prospect.

The spokesman called for "an EU approach consistent with trying to find an agreement between sovereign equals and with acceptance that movement needs to come from the EU side as well as the UK".

Negotiations broke down on Thursday, when the EU demanded Britain give ground,

In turn, Johnson said on Friday there was no point in continuing talks, saying Britain would "prosper mightily" without a trade agreement, or as the British government describes it: an "Australian-style" deal.

That would mean the United Kingdom trading on World Trade Organization terms, probably causing significant price rises.

Such a scenario would throw $900 billion in annual bilateral trade into uncertainty and could snarl border ports, turning parts of the southeastern English county of Kent into a vast truck park.

Gove, in parliament, repeated Britain's demands.

"We have to be in control of our own borders, our fishing grounds, we have to set our own laws. We have to be free to thrive as an independent free trading nation, embracing the freedoms that flow as a result," he told lawmakers.

Brussels wants Britain to move on both fair competition guarantees, or the so-called level playing field, and on fisheries, which President Emmanuel Macron insists should offer more for the French side.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

39 Comments
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an independent free trading nation, embracing the freedoms that flow as a result

Bartering and zero-hours serfdom. The January sales will take on a whole new meaning.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Won't make much of difference during the coronavirus pandemic. A no deal will be the best way forward for all involved as it will require permanent solutions.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Brexit had been an utter disaster from the start.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Brexit had been an utter disaster from the start.

As I would expect someone who is opposed to Brexit to say.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Such a scenario would throw $900 billion in annual bilateral trade into uncertainty and could snarl border ports, turning parts of the southeastern English county of Kent into a vast truck park.

The pretense that this number presents sustainable loss/change to all the vested interests, 27 EU member states is blinkered denial.

The assumption that trade will continue as before is preposterous. There are more than 350 countries and states that will be playing catch up.

UK Government will review economic/business models. Sector wide deregulation.

The most worrying aspect is the signed withdrawal agreement. I have more than a suspicion that Lord Frost, Gove, Johnson and Cummings are pursuing an agenda focused on dismantling the complete agreement.

An act that will breech international Treaty law.

Johnson, I believe has convinced himself this is justified as his government view is that EU Commission behavior as a hostile act.

Then there is the fisheries....What is Marcon, or how will he explain to his fishing industry he stooped and picked up nothing.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Johnson's true intention since his offset.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

That would mean the United Kingdom trading on World Trade Organization terms, probably causing significant price rises.

This scenario is based on the assumption that UK EU trading relationship will continue.

It simply wont, supermarkets will not stock items they cannot sell, they will source outside of the EU.

There will be no shortage of countries lining up to under cut.

This is the primary reason the EU refuses to accept Johnson Government unwillingness to continue negotiations.

I suggest there is an agenda slowly but surely being played out.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Won't make much of difference during the coronavirus pandemic. A no deal will be the best way forward for all involved as it will require permanent solutions.

Sounds so nice but the EU holds all the cards and is under no obligation to conduct trade with the UK until they meet the EUs terms. That might be a while. What can UK do but cry and stop their feet? The EU has UK by the, well, you know what. Meantime little or nothing moves and a hard customs border goes up between the Republic of Ireland and UK. And Scotland will demand independence so they can re-join the EU. Another hard border on England's north. Britain as we know it today is done.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Then there is the fisheries....What is Marcon, or how will he explain to his fishing industry he stooped and picked up nothing.

You might see EU navies escorting their fishing fleets. Remember the Cod War? Only this time the other side's ships will have serious weapons and not need to resort to ramming.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

@Desert Tortoise

I know you don't like to UK, but let's base some things in reality.

Sounds so nice but the EU holds all the cards and is under no obligation to conduct trade with the UK until they meet the EUs terms.

Yes, they are. They are obligated to conduct trade. Europeans businesses such as BMW and VW wouldn't allow them not to, either.

And Scotland will demand independence so they can re-join the EU.

They would have to hold a referendum first and vote to leave. But even if they do, Spain isn't going to allow Scotland to join the EU because of Catalonia.

Britain as we know it today is done.

You don't like Britain. We get it.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

That is a possibility, Desert Tortoise, facing privately funded fishery protection gunboats.

Word around the camp fire suggest hedge funds ready to fund this fleet.

With the prospect of huge financial rewards seizing the vessels. Essentially these Gun boats will be crewed with mercenaries in all but name.

Whether the EU navies, even if the member states would contemplate the risk, would question the threat to further deterioration on entering British waters. UK membership of/to Common Fishers Policy ceases on 31 December.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

There is a simple solution restart the negotiations. Offer UK access to the single market with a reduced contribution. This would be the carrot, this would compensate reflect UK lack of participation in the council of minsters.

I am a business woman. What did that shameless rogue, Gekko contend......

“First lesson in business is: Don't get emotional about stock, clouds your judgement.”

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This scenario is based on the assumption that UK EU trading relationship will continue.

It simply wont, supermarkets will not stock items they cannot sell, they will source outside of the EU.

There will be no shortage of countries lining up to under cut.

This is the primary reason the EU refuses to accept Johnson Government unwillingness to continue negotiations.

Steroid beef, chlorinated chicken and hormonal milk, all courtesy of Uncle Sam, to compensate for the total destruction of British agriculture. Bless.

Bartering and zero-hours serfdom. The January sales will take on a whole new meaning.

Together with homemade medicine and a repeal of all environmental protection laws. It's a fracking brave new world!

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Steroid beef, chlorinated chicken and hormonal milk, all courtesy of Uncle Sam, to compensate for the total destruction of British agriculture. Bless.

So no other products besides those from the US will be sold in the UK?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Alfie Noakes

Yes, and the over use of antibiotics too, this is why there will not be a trade deal with the US.

Deregulation cannot sacrifice food standards.

Then there are questions of pharmaceuticals, NHS, finding common ground on a dispute resolution. Neither Trump or Biden will betray there agriculture etc etc

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Together with homemade medicine and a repeal of all environmental protection laws. It's a fracking brave new world!

One of the reasons I opposed Brexit was the political power balance at the time. It was clear Labour and the Liberals were in a mess ( Starmer seems to have made Labour a serious opposition but attacking Johnson at the moment is pretty easy ).

The Tories shaping the post-Brexit UK?

Good luck with that.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The UK’s negotiating position is quite weak. The EU has zero incentive to give into their demands. “You want to walk? There’s the door...”

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

For the European Union Brexit is not the menacing, and threating issues. It is Marcon and his feckless domestic policies combined with a petulant disregard for the French electorate. A French friend refers rather disapprovingly of the French President as Tantrum Macron.

The danger politically, however, sitting in the wings patiently is Marion Anne Perrine Le Pen.

As of 1 October Le Pen is leading Macron in the polls.

France — President Emmanuel Macron's approval rating

https://www.politico.eu/europe-poll-of-polls/france/

On a no deal, the costs to French fishery's, and agriculture, Le Pen will strike.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Without the free movement of people, many who came to the UK for seasonal jobs will be missed.

Those needed workers were already getting harder to get, before Covid19.

.

Most of the food i buy comes from local sources or from countries outside the EEC.

Corn Beef from Brazil for example.

.

There is a few EU types of cheese i like, which will be more expensive.

.

The UK imports more from the EU than the UK exports.

So it may hurt EU producers/manufacturers more than UK ones.

.

on fisheries, which President Emmanuel Macron insists should offer more for the French side

.

He may have more trouble on his hands if he can not get a deal on fishing for the French fishermen.

Why is he insisting on an offer for the French side. Why not insist it for all of the EU.

Is it because a lot of the fish caught by French fishermen comes from UK waters ?

.

With EU fishing fleets no longer in UK waters, Will the amount of fish sales in the EU will drop and the prices go up.

Fish quotas in UK waters normally taken by EU ships could pass to UK ships and help improve the UK fishing fleet..

BUT it also means UK fishermen who fished in EU waters, will not be able to do so. So some types of fish in The UK may become more expensive or vanish from the shelves.

.

Who knows what the true trade effects will be after 1st January 2021.

It was a mad house with many different views of the future.

and now Covid19 has thrown an even mightier spanner into the mix of predictions.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@Alfie Noakes

Anything fromthe US will have country of origin marked

The British consumer can choose whatever they like to buy-simple capitalism

1 ( +4 / -3 )

With the so called, continuing second wave of this pandemic.

A extended transition period, associated with incentives for UK Government to agree, makes sound economic sense.

Its is saving face time, for both the EU and UK

Half UK contributions, for a given period for the negotiations to continue. At the same time both enter into a diplomatic mission of collaboration in areas of agreement, friends not foes.

Deep breaths, step back and reassesses the whole political and economic relationship.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Bartering and zero-hours serfdom. The January sales will take on a whole new meaning.

There will be a nationwide lockdown so no January Sales, with 7000 lorry drivers a day living on the side amount the rotting EU trade cargoes.

the positive side is the greedy southern posh sets will start living like the oppressed Northerners.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

the positive side is the greedy southern posh sets will start living like the oppressed Northerners.

The north will sink even further and faster than the south.

The Tories may have picked up a few northern seats last time but they won’t stick. The Tories need to look after their core vote.

In other words, screw the north as usual.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

EU holds all the cards and is under no obligation to conduct trade

Incorrect. It will be obliged to trade under Most Favoured Nation rules that apply to... Mongolia, for example.

Spain isn't going to allow Scotland to join the EU because of Catalonia.

Incorrect. Spain never said it would oppose an independent Scottish application if IndyRef 1 was successful.

Brexit changed everything, and don't forget Scotland voted 62% Remain.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-spain-politics-scotland/spain-would-not-oppose-future-independent-scotland-rejoining-eu-minister-idUKKCN1NP25P

2 ( +4 / -2 )

*Incorrect. Spain never said it would oppose an independent Scottish application if IndyRef 1 was successful.*

https://fullfact.org/europe/eu-membership-spain-scotland/

Spain has said that Scotland would have to leave the EU and re-apply from the outside.

This means it would not be possible for Scotland to join as it doesn't meet the requirements of being a member (with a national debt worse than Greece's). Also, Spain would still veto them when push comes to shove. It's easy to say they won't while Scotland is part of the UK.

*Brexit changed everything, and don't forget *Scotland voted 62% Remain.

Yep. And pretty much most of the those that voted in Scotland for the EU Referendum were those who want an independent Scotland. I would like to polling which asks the question "If you have to choose either the UK or EU, which one would you choose?". Again, push comes to shove, Scottish people will choose the UK (their largest export market, border issues, currency becoming the Euro etc.).

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There's a lot of talk about Scottish independence here and Scotland will, at some point, be an independent country again. I would say the majority of Scots are now pro independence and the majority of English are still pro independence. If the rest of the Union was involved in voting at the last referendum, I'm sure Scotland would've been kicked out.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In other words, screw the north as usual.

The north should secede and join Scotland as an independent country. The Tories can have their Home Counties autocracy. Democracy is dying in the UK.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Ironically, Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales have never been member states if the European Union. They are regions within the UK membership.

The UK referendum voted in 2016 to leave. Scotland if it chose independence, would have to apply to join.

There is a number of economic reasons that might prevent Scottish membership, all besides the point as Nicola Sturgeon is cynically politically weaponizing the fact that the people of Scotland voted against UK leaving the EU.

Sturgeon has, dare I suggest a bitter hatred of the English.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This is why politically motivated appointments end in tears ......

ECB’s Lagarde: Let’s discuss permanent EU debt.......

https://www.politico.eu/article/ecbs-lagarde-lets-discuss-permanent-eu-debt/

Lagarde previously denied the possibility of making this exercise permanent — a toxic proposition for so-called frugal countries such as Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden. Last month, she said “it’s a one-off response to exceptional circumstances” during a hearing in the European Parliament.

This is why UK must stand it ground, and leave. with or without a FTA.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Anything fromthe US will have country of origin marked

The British consumer can choose whatever they like to buy-simple capitalism

In the supermarket, maybe. What about processed foods? Will manufacturers be obliged to indicate what percentage of what ingredient comes from where? Will restaurant menus come with country of origin stickers?

I doubt it.

pretty much most of the those that voted in Scotland for the EU Referendum were those who want an independent Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon is cynically politically weaponizing the fact that the people of Scotland voted against UK leaving the EU.

She and the rest of the Scottish population have every right to be cynical. In the independence referendum a major decider was the threat that Scotland would be forced to leave the EU after independence.

So independence didn’t happen, and still Scotland is being forced against its will to leave the EU. And in a totally incompetent, cack-handed no-deal let’s-wreck-the-economy fiasco.

If I were a Scot I would not be cynical so much as blazing mad.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I agree, Cleo, an independent Scottish Government would be within the EU economically, how can i put this a continuing drain on recourses.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Scots are a canny crew who know which side their bread is buttered, they love making a brouhaha but when push comes to shove they know independence would be an economic disaster for them.

God help any MP who votes to undermine the UK food safety regs. Bear in mind that it has been calculated a trade deal with the USA would benefit the UK by a massive 0.16% per annum. Hardly worth destroying British agriculture for.

The EU has always behaved as if it has all the cards but the reality is far different, there are 27 nations with differing agendas that they have to balance and once faced with a PM with the resolution to walk away (unlike May who was a remainer and didn’t want the negotiations to succeed or Cameron, the man who asked for little and got less) they have been forced ever so reluctantly to negotiate in some semblance of reality.

Had the EU negotiated honestly like Japan did, the process would have gone equally smoothly and we wouldn’t have had to out up with this farrago of dishonesty and disrespect from them.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Spain has said that Scotland would have to leave the EU and re-apply from the outside.

Brexit for beginners: Scotland has **(albeit unwillingly) left the EU already.**

Also, Spain would still veto them when push comes to shove.

Meaningless conjecture.

"Spain would have no objection to Scotland rejoining the European Union as an independent nation, as long as the secession process from the United Kingdom was legally binding, Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell said on Tuesday." (Reuters 21 Nov. 2018)

☆ The Brexit referendum wasn't actually legally binding, handing Scottish nationalists a convenient common law precedent to argue for IndyRef 2. Catalunya, on the other hand, would have a tougher time seceding from civil law Spain.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The north should secede and join Scotland as an independent country. The Tories can have their Home Counties autocracy.

I’ve been advocating this for years.

I’ve always felt more at home in Glasgow than in London.

Screw the south.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The Brexit referendum wasn't actually legally binding, handing Scottish nationalists a convenient common law precedent to argue for IndyRef 2. Catalunya, on the other hand, would have a tougher time seceding from civil law Spain.

And all power to them if that's what they wish.

It is very interesting that when you check the polling for "Should Scotland be an Independent Country?", it's about 55% for Yes and 45% for No.

But when the question is "Should Scotland leave the UK or remain in the UK?", it's about 55% for remain and 38% for leave.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proposed_second_Scottish_independence_referendum#Opinion_polling

It seems that a lot of Scots like the idea of Scotland being independent, but don't really want to leave the UK.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Tangerine2000, remember the pre-Brexit polling that lulled Europhiles into a false sense of security?

"Should Scotland be an Independent Country?", it's about 55% for Yes and 45% for No.

...from +/- 90,000 Scots surveyed, overwhelmingly showing Yes for independence since the Brexit vote (note the graph's recent Bojo bounce upwards), compared with 6,000 Scots since then asked:

"Should Scotland leave the UK or remain in the UK?"

This year's survey shows Remain falling to 47%. Thanks for the link!

◉ Whatever the polls say, people clearly want to make informed decisions about IndyRef 2 and NI Border Poll, unlike Brexit, where Questions 1 & 4 below remain a complete mystery 4 years and 4 months later:

Top EU-related Google searches in the UK immediately after the Brexit Referendum results:

What does it mean to leave the EU?

What is the EU?

Which countries are in the EU?

What will happen now we've left the EU?

How many countries are in the EU?
-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Michael Gove says "Britain has had enough of experts." Now look what those bloody know-it-alls at the London School of Economics have to say. Don't believe a word of it!

Key impact 1:

Brexit will reduce average UK living standards in the long-run because higher trade barriers with the EU will increase import costs and reduce export opportunities for UK firms.

Key impact 2:

The size of the economic impact of Brexit is highly uncertain and depends upon both what form Brexit takes and the extent to which it affects the productivity of UK firms. Unfortunately, there is no settled consensus on how much trade affects productivity.

Key impact 3:

Staying in the EU’s single market would be the least costly form of Brexit, while leaving to trade on World Trade Organization terms would be the most costly option from an economic perspective.

Key impact 4:

Brexit will also reduce the output of EU economies. However, with the exception of Ireland, the effects will be many times smaller than for the UK because the EU is a larger economy, which means it relies less on UK-EU trade than the UK does.

Key impact 5:

Firms will find it harder to trade with the EU after Brexit primarily because they will face higher non-tariff trade barriers, such as customs checks at the border and the need to meet different regulatory standards in the UK and the EU. Consequently, a free trade agreement with the EU that focussed on tariff reduction would do relatively little to mitigate the costs of Brexit.

Key impact 6:

The UK will not be able to counteract the costs of Brexit by striking new trade deals with the rest of the world. The EU is the UK’s most important trade partner and the EU’s single market goes further than conventional free trade agreements in reducing trade barriers.

C'mere, there's more...

With the exception of heavily criticised work by the Economists for Brexitthere has been little attempt to argue that Brexit will benefit the UK economy. Instead, plausible estimates put the likely fall in long-run UK income per capita at between 1% and 10%.

https://ukandeu.ac.uk/international-trade-and-brexit-thomas-sampson/

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Too bad for Britain. It seems the country wants to cherry -pick a deal on its own terms. Britain does not realise it is bargaining from a weaker position. The country voted for Brexit and as a result they must accept the consequences. This populist government led by Boris Johnson is taking the country to a major disaster.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The key is the existing, EU UK trading relationship. Euros, 900 billion plus

This current arrangement will change significantly, within 12 to 18 months beyond recognition.

Why would supermarkets source products that cannot sell??

Over 350 new markets will open up with there exporters, in every sector, knocking, no kicking on UK doors to uncut the current EU UK export market.

That is the reason the EU is desperate to continue negotiations. even though Johnsons Government is effectively attempting to dismantle the signed withdraw agreement.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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