Thursday, February 29, 2024

Hopes for a Brexit trade deal flash red, pushing down stocks and the pound

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen warned that a no-deal split with the UK was the most likely outcome on December 31 as last-minute talks to try to reach a deal before Sunday continue in Brussels.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s calls for European Union leaders to step in and save the hesitant trade talks have been frustrated as summit talks ended Thursday evening, pushing Brexit to the sidelines. On Friday, von der Leyen spent just 10 minutes briefing government leaders on the matter.

Johnson on Thursday warned British businesses and the public to prepare for the “strong possibility»From a split without agreement. Both sides have said they will continue talks until Sunday, but officials admit that without new political leadership, the negotiating teams will have little to say.

Norway could shut down UK and EU waters

Norway could close its waters to EU and UK fishing vessels if a deal is not reached with the Nordic country by early next year, the Norwegian news agency reported NTB, citing the Minister of Fisheries and Seafood, Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen.

Negotiations are delayed due to Brexit negotiations and it is uncertain whether the deals will be finalized by the end of the year. Norway also cannot expect its ships to have access to EU or UK economic zones before agreements are in place.

Macron: we are still looking for an agreement

Emmanuel Macron said, amid “rumors, fires and fires”, that he still wanted an agreement that “respects our British friends”.

The French president dodged the question of whether his wish to see French fishermen continue to fish in British waters after a no-deal was an attempt to ‘take his cake and eat it too’ – a phrase used by Johnson to describe their own perspective on Brexit. .

“I ask that the butter be well weighed, because I am not giving up my share either,” Macron replied, repeating that the EU had “one principle: to remain united”.

Von der Leyen emphasizes UK sovereignty

Ursula von der Leyen used her post-EU summit press conference to focus on the bloc’s negotiating positions rather than warning that they are not heading for a deal, perhaps a sign that ‘they are not quite at the end of the road yet.

On a level playing field for fair competition – the biggest obstacle to a deal – she emphasized British “sovereignty”, Britain’s main claim.

According to the EU proposal rejected by Johnson’s government, “the UK would remain free – sovereign if you wish – to decide what it wants to do,” she said. “We would adapt the conditions of access to our market according to the UK decision and this would apply vice versa.”

She also indicated that it may not have been a clear deal or no deal over the weekend. “We will decide on Sunday whether we have conditions for a deal or not,” she said.

UK slow to recognize compromises

David Lidington, who served as Prime Minister Theresa May’s de facto deputy, said the UK has been slow to recognize and explain that any deal will require compromise.

“We want privileged access – without tariffs, without quotas – to this very important EU market, by far our biggest trading partner in the world, and they are going to demand a price,” he told Francine de Bloomberg Television. Lacqua.

Lidington said he was hopeful Johnson would make a deal and that if the Prime Minister got one he would be able to get parliamentary approval.

BOE warns of possible disruption

The Bank of England has said it cannot rule out market volatility or some disruption in financial services in the event of a no-deal Brexit, but said UK banks are strong enough to resist such an outcome.

Speaking after the BOE released its latest banking system health check, Governor Andrew Bailey said the institution had done an enormous job preparing for any form of Brexit. But he warned that the EU had not matched these preparations in all respects.

Brexit test drives begin

Part of the main highway to Dover and the Channel Tunnel will be closed overnight Friday as authorities install a new movable barrier.

thecounter-current systemis designed to keep traffic flowing in the event of a Brexit disruption.

Johnson “lost the plot,” says Labor

Lisa Nandy, UK opposition Labor Party foreign affairs spokeswoman, said Johnson’s government had ‘lost the plot’ on Brexit talks and urged the PM to strike a deal with the EU.

“The government’s position now is that it is intolerable to accept tariffs and quotas, so they want to leave on terms that immediately introduce tariffs and quotas,” Nandy told BBC Radio. “It sounds absolutely absurd.”

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