Negotiations on a trade deal between the European Union and the UK are reaching a deadline again, a high-level source in the UK camp said. A breakthrough in the arduous consultations did not materialize on Sunday, leaving the European Parliament insufficient time to approve a possible agreement in good time. The negotiators still continue on Monday.
The negotiations “remain difficult and major issues remain,” the UK source said. “The teams have been negotiating all day and assume that they will continue tomorrow.”
The European Parliament set a target of midnight on Sunday, but that will not be achieved. Since an agreement requires Parliament’s assent, this deadline appeared to be more severe than the previous ones, which were exceeded as far as possible. In the last few days, however, it has been suggested that an agreement enter into force provisionally on January 1st and only then be presented to parliament.
If the EU and the UK do not agree, mutual trade and traffic will be subject to controls, taxes and administrative burdens from the turn of the year. The British left the EU earlier this year, but will follow European regulations until January 1st.