April 14, 2021

EU vote on Brexit deal may be delayed until 28 December

EU vote on Brexit deal could be delayed until 28 December

EU vote on Brexit deal may be delayed until 28 DecemberEU vote on Brexit deal may be delayed until 28 December

MEPs may not be able to conclude any agreement earlier than three days before the end of the transition period.

The European Parliament vote on a Brexit trade deal may be delayed until December 28, just three days before the end of the transition period, in line with the EU emergency plan.

Less than seven weeks are left before the UK leaves the single market and customs union, so negotiations remain very tense and difficult, and negotiations on fishing rights in UK waters have made very little progress. from summer discussions.

According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ireland Simon Coveney (Simon Coveney), after the parties resumed discussions, negotiations on the issue of fishing rights were held «not at its best».

Chief EU Negotiator Michelle Barnier (Michel Barnier) is supposed to want to be able to deliver positive news to the bloc’s 27 heads of state and government at Thursday’s videoconference summit.

But the timing of the deal has been repeatedly shifted, and now, most likely, a decision on the agreement will be found next week or even later, jeopardizing the planned vote in the European Parliament on the December 16 deal.

MEPs said they need six weeks to agree on a deal was translated, reviewed, passed through committees and final full plenary vote.

Sources in the European Parliament said they discussed holding an extraordinary session after Christmas on 28 December, as a senior EU diplomat acknowledged that Brussels may need to show «ingenuity», to ratify the agreement.

The parliamentary vote is likely to take place in Brussels rather than Strasbourg due to measures taken to control the spread of Covid-19, although the French government is lobbying for the return of MEPs to Strasbourg.

«I think the British government is very well aware of what it takes to close a deal this week, the real question is how strong the political will to do it. I think that we [make a deal], that was my prediction for a while, but I won’t be shocked if it falls apart».

Unresolved issues remain the level of access to UK waters accorded to EU fishing fleets, fair competition rules for business, including rules on domestic subsidies, and a final dispute resolution mechanism..

Great Britain’s chief negotiator David Frost (David Frost) tweeted on Sunday that there has been «some progress in a positive direction». But he insisted that his negotiating position on the most controversial issues would not be softened in light of his resignation. Dominic Cummings (Dominic Cummings), Chief Counsel Boris Johnson (Boris Johnson) and former director of the EU exit campaign "Vote Leave".

It is clear that common points of contact are at the core agreements on how both sides will regulate domestic subsidies. But there is no agreement yet on a mechanism to maintain similar basic environmental, labor and social standards in the coming years. UK insists it will not bind itself to Brussels’ rulebook.

Coveney highlighted the dangers posed by the issue of fishing rights that could disrupt negotiations despite its relatively low economic value..

«Quite frankly, this is much more emotional and political.», – he said. «What the British government has pledged to its fishing industry versus Michel Barnier’s negotiating mandate from the EU is a very, very big discrepancy».

He continued: «The negotiations are not going well when it comes to fishing. There has really been no success in closing the gap between the positions of both sides, and until we find a way to do this, there will be no agreement, so we are in the same place in the fisheries dispute where we are. were in the middle of summer».

«Neither side actually budged. Minor concessions have been discussed on both sides, but it hasn’t really made any progress.».