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EU leaders to insist on powerful enforcement powers in Brexit deal

French president Emmanuel Macron and different EU leaders will this week insist on powerful enforcement guidelines for any UK commerce deal, warning that British prime minister Boris Johnson’s transfer to override the Brexit treaty has proven Britain’s phrase can’t be trusted.

EU diplomats mentioned leaders at a summit starting on Thursday would name on Michel Barnier, the bloc’s chief negotiator, to make sure that “level playing field” ensures for European companies competing with UK corporations are backed by the proper for Brussels to take fast retaliatory motion if Britain breaches its commitments.

The summit is being seen in Brussels because the second when EU leaders pick up the Brexit issue again after months centered on combating the coronavirus pandemic.

The assembly shall be an opportunity for EU leaders to form the endgame of negotiations because the clock ticks all the way down to dealer a future relationship deal between the bloc and the UK.

Mr Barnier has mentioned that October 31 is the “realistic deadline” for an settlement to be reached if new buying and selling preparations are to be in place for the top of the UK’s post-Brexit transition interval on January 1.

Officials on each side consider the success of the talks will activate the flexibility of negotiators to strike a grand bargain on the sticking points of fishing rights, stage taking part in discipline preparations, and governance of the long run relationship. 

Both sides made overtures final week, with Mr Barnier urging EU governments to provide him extra negotiating wriggle room on fish, whereas UK chief negotiator David Frost mentioned Britain was prepared to debate commitments on state support coverage that may “go further than you normally do in a free trade agreement”. 

But EU diplomats mentioned the bloc’s leaders would press Mr Barnier on the necessity to ensure that any stage taking part in discipline preparations might be upheld in observe, with the proper for the bloc to take “interim” and “autonomous” measures even earlier than a dispute settlement panel has dominated, and to “cross-retaliate” towards completely different sectors of the UK economic system.

They mentioned the problem had turn out to be much more essential due to Mr Johnson’s contentious determination to override final 12 months’s Brexit treaty through his internal market bill — a authorized system to unpick elements of the fragile compromise reached to keep away from a tough border on the island of Ireland.

“Level playing field — and everything — is also linked to governance,” mentioned one diplomat. “Especially after the internal market bill fiasco, the EU will continue to strongly push for robust, binding enforcement and dispute resolution mechanisms . . . something that the UK so far rejects.”

Diplomats mentioned that even conventional UK allies equivalent to Germany had been spooked by Mr Johnson’s inner market invoice, which considered one of his ministers has mentioned would break worldwide legislation in a “specific and limited way” by overriding a part of the Brexit treaty regarding Northern Ireland.

“What happened on Ireland has really hardened the Europeans’ [position], especially [that of] the Germans,” mentioned one senior EU member state official. “It’s unimaginable for the Germans to breach an international treaty.” 

EU leaders will even urge Mr Barnier to take a tricky line extra typically. 

France and different fishing nations within the EU will emphasise their willpower to protect quota rights in British waters, leaving Mr Barnier with restricted area to tease out a deal.

Mr Barnier has been pushing EU coastal states to step again from their hardline calls for on fish and Mr Johnson emphasised the necessity for the EU to provide floor in a name with Mr Macron on Saturday. 

EU nations’ pursuits are notably divergent in terms of fishing rights given solely eight member states take important catch in UK waters.

But diplomats insist that politically the EU can’t emerge from the talks showing at hand an awesome victory to the UK’s fishing fleet. Mr Barnier “has to be very careful”, mentioned one. 

Overall on the talks, leaders will say “a deal is the best thing, but we cannot take an economic risk”, mentioned an EU diplomat. “My feeling is that [the summit] will make the position more strict. We will say [to Mr Barnier], ‘Hold on, be careful’.”

Mr Johnson spoke to German chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday, and emphasised that progress have to be made to bridge the hole between the 2 sides, notably in relation to fisheries and the extent taking part in discipline preparations, mentioned a spokesperson for the UK prime minister.

The spokesperson added Mr Johnson additionally emphasised the UK’s need to achieve a future relationship settlement, however that Britain was ready to commerce with the EU on World Trade Organisation phrases if no deal was attainable.

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