Brexit Update 1 September 2020 by Camilla Call, Brexit Advisor
Ahead of formal talks resuming 7 September, informal discussions for round eight of the UK-EU negotiations has already started and we’re hearing lots of noise in the media. Particular tabloids are focusing on the prime minister and chief negotiators being “advised” to walk away from failing talks and “ultimatums” being threatened, but to avoid reading too much into unreliable sources these haven’t been detailed below. We’ll report on the outcome of talks in the following two weeks’ reports.
24 August we heard that a trade deal with Japan was expected to be agreed the following week (CityAM). The agreement is said to be based around what was agreed in the EU-Japan deal last year, with reduction/elimination of certain tariffs on each side, including Japanese cars and British cheese.
The Independent reported on 27 August that Germany had reportedly taken Brexit off the agenda in a meeting with ambassadors from the 27 EU member states due to there being no “tangible progress”. Along with the stalemate on fisheries and the level playing field, disagreements also remain on “migration, security, dispute-settling mechanisms, human rights guarantees and other areas”. This article also shares that the Department for International Trade has set up 11 advisory groups to help advise on negotiations; this will be for all trade negotiations, not just UK-EU.
Details of the Trade Advisory Groups (TAGs), set up in order to meet requirements of the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) trade negotiations, can be found at gov.uk. The 11 sectors covered by the groups are agri-food, automotive, aerospace and marine, British manufactured and consumer goods, telecoms and technology, chemicals, life sciences, creative industries, investment, transport services, professional advisory services, and financial services. The groups will meet at least 3 times a year, or as required by developments in the free trade negotiations process.
CNBC reported 1 September how Paschal Donohoe, Irish Finance Minister, was calling for both sides to “redouble their creativity and commitment” in order to agree a deal. He went onto say that as we’re already dealing with the challenges of coronavirus, a hard Brexit will have significantly more impact for all parties when it comes to global trade.
26 August CNN reported on the setback of the resignation of Ireland’s European Commissioner Phil Hogan after attending a golf event with 80 other individuals, a day after stricter social distancing rules were introduced. His role as Trade Commissioner for the EU now needs replacing, meaning the European negotiating team requires a change to personnel at this late stage of the talks.
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