Published On: Tue, Sep 29th, 2020

Brexit news: Fishing showdown TODAY – Frost sent major negotiating warning by David Davis | Politics | News

Both sides will sit down for four hours to discuss fishing rights today before more sessions this week, amid a warning from ex-Brexit secretary David Davis that even if progress is made the meetings could collapse at the last minute. Many eyes will be on the teams’ potential to move past the main sticking points to reach the so-called “tunnel” in negotiations – when the legal text of a trade pact would be set out in talks.

But Mr Davis issued a warning to Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost, saying: “I think the tunnel, and the end of the game, is not that productive.

“So I’m not sure the tunnel delivers you a great deal, except to waste time.”

Others have warned any slight hiccup could bring negotiations to a crashing halt even if extensive progress has been made on key issues.

In more positive news, however, the Times reported EU negotiators have signaled that they are willing to begin work on a joint legal text of a trade agreement with the UK.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier is ready to begin work on a joint draft version of a free trade agreement, known as a “consolidated legal text”, this week.

Mr Barnier expects Lord Frost to provide more details of fishing quotas and the government’s future subsidy policy, as the EU backs away from a threat to suspend trade and security talks.

Talks on Tuesday will also focus on the so-called level playing field which the bloc has called on the UK to commit to in order to ensure fair competition.

The term refers to a set of common rules and standards Brussels is keen to see the UK adopt to prevent it from gaining a competitive advantage when it trades as an independent country.

There will be high hopes that this week’s round of talks, the ninth since meetings kicked off earlier this year, with less than 100 days to go before the expiration of the Brexit transition period.


7.49am update: ‘Clock’s ticking for EU’ Boris turned tables on Barnier as Brexit trade deal talks fire up

Boris Johnson has effectively turned the tables on Michel Barnier and the EU by setting an October 15 deadline for the conclusion of trade talks, a Brexiteer MP has said.

David Jones, deputy chairman of the Eurosceptic European Research Group (ERG) said the EU’s negotiator would do well to be reminded that “the clock is ticking”.

The MP for Clwyd West said he remains pessimistic about the prospects of an agreement, despite a recent suggestion by James Forsyth, political editor of The Spectator, that both sides were “edging towards a dea”.

Mr Jones said: “Frankly it isn’t three months any more when you think about it because Boris already gave them this deadline so effectively we are talking about two and a half weeks.”

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