December 3rd – Comprehensive foreign media reported that Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator for Brexit affairs, said on December 2 that the next 36 hours will be crucial to the EU-UK trade negotiations.
According to people familiar with the matter, Barnier told ambassadors and members of the European Parliament in a closed meeting that Brussels and London will assess the possibility of reaching an agreement by the end of this week.
Although no breakthrough has been made, the two sides are still exploring possible ways to compromise. He pointed out that there are still differences on the conditions for fair competition of enterprises, the EU’s fishing rights in British waters, and how to implement trade agreements.
A person familiar with the matter said that Barnier pointed out at the meeting that Europe and Britain are considering a transitional arrangement on fishing rights, that is, the renegotiation after the deadline will be linked to the trade agreement.
On December 31, 2020, the transition period of “Brexit” will be over. Whether the two sides can break the deadlock within the deadline and avoid a no-deal “Brexit” has attracted the attention of the international community.
In recent days, member states have expressed concern that the EU will make too many concessions in the final negotiations. An EU diplomat said that governments are “tensioned” about the situation and it is still unclear whether Barnier can resolve differences on three key issues. EU member states also told Barnier not to rush an agreement under the pressure of time.
French President Macron warned on December 1: “France will not accept an agreement that does not respect our long-term interests. The agreement must balance future relationships.”