Johnson and Von der Leyen Will Call Again

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will call again on Wednesday or Thursday with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson about the Brexit negotiations.

 

On Monday, Von der Leyen and Johnson also had telephone contact about the protracted talks about a trade agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom. The biggest stumbling block in the negotiations revolves around agreements on fishing in British waters by EU fishermen.

On Monday, London made a fishing concession to Brussels, but it was rejected. It proposed that the amount of fish caught by the EU Member States, measured by value, would fall by 30 percent in UK waters. Last week, London demanded a 60 percent drop in those fishing quotas.

The EU would like to go no further than a 25% cut. Countries such as France and Denmark would already struggle to accept this reduction.

After 31 December, the transition phase for the United Kingdom after Brexit will end, in which the British are still primarily bound by the existing agreements with the EU. The aim was therefore to have a new treaty on, among other things, mutual trade ready before that time. This should avoid high import tariffs, time-consuming customs procedures and other obstacles.

EU negotiators are reportedly willing to continue to talk about a trade agreement with the United Kingdom after 1 January. This was said by the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier in an explanation to the 27 EU member states, and insiders told Reuters.

Sources tell Bloomberg news agency that a deal is unlikely to be closed any time soon. Talks will continue in Brussels.

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