Macron Johnson Agreement
Brexit talks will begin their final act on Saturday with a move to direct negotiations between Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen after no deal was reached in London. The bill contains no-deal clauses concerning Northern Ireland, which nullify the withdrawal agreement and violate international law, which would not be necessary if an agreement with Brussels were reached. Sources said he would call the French president shortly after a deal was reached to push him to accept it. Johnson has publicly hinted that Thursday`s EU summit in Brussels is his deadline for a deal. He said in September that the failure of a deal would mean it was time «to accept it and keep going.» An «Australian-style» agreement means trade under the World Trade Organization without a specific free trade agreement. Businesses have worried about a «Cliff Edge» scenario in which Britain leaves the EU without a deal. Even if an agreement is reached at the level of the EU blocs, there are fears that it will be rejected at the last minute. Each of the remaining 27 countries must ratify the agreements and each could reject them. This could mean chaos for businesses and individuals. Brexit talks have stalled due to differences of opinion on three key issues: fisheries, dispute settlement in the future trade deal and the EU`s demand for guarantees against competition.
«After a week of intensive negotiations in London, the two chief negotiators agreed today that the conditions for an agreement are not met due to significant differences in the areas of level playing field, governance and fisheries,» Barnier and Frost said in the statement. «On this basis, they agreed to interrupt the discussions in order to inform their sponsors of the progress of the negotiations. President von der Leyen and Prime Minister Johnson will speak tomorrow afternoon about the state of affairs. «(Johnson) has confirmed the UK`s commitment to exploring all ways to reach an agreement,» Johnson`s Downing Street office said during a reading of the call. Both sides said an agreement was to be reached in October to ensure sufficient time to ratify it. Johnson and Macron also discussed the coronavirus crisis in their bilateral discussions. On Saturday, the two Heads of State or Government pleaded with a few days apparently more than for an agreement on a future trade agreement, after the British and European negotiating teams met on Friday for a positive meeting. A spokesman for The Number 10 said during Saturday`s phone call, Mr Johnson «confirmed the UK`s commitment to exploring any path to reach an agreement». «The Prime Minister welcomed the agreement to intensify discussions in July and stressed that the UK did not consider it useful for the negotiations to be extended until the autumn,» Johnson`s statement said. No. 10 is working to reach an agreement in good time so that the legislation transposing the agreement can pass through both Houses of Parliament before Christmas.
Government officials say they may have to ask MPs to sit until Dec. 23, when a deal will be reached later than early next week. The EU and the UK could reach an agreement on the UK`s withdrawal from the bloc without an agreement on the future relationship. This scenario would still be a very hard Brexit, but it would demonstrate at least some degree of mutual understanding. Trade agreements would be concluded on an interim basis according to the rules of the World Trade Organization. If there is no deal at all, a fully sovereign UK would be free to strike new trade deals and would not have to make concessions on the rights of EU citizens residing in the UK or pay the payment of outstanding debts. But trade would be paralyzed. British citizens from other parts of the EU would be at the mercy of host governments. There would also be a hard border between the EU and the UK in Ireland. The details of each deal are being scrutiny by pro-Brexit MPs, whose support has led Johnson to Downing Street. . .