Long Traffic Jams on British Border as Brexit Negotiations Stall
Multi-kilometers of truck traffic jams formed at the French border after the trade negotiators had interrupted the talks on Friday. The decisive talk between British PM and UK Commission President will take place today.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU Commission President Ursula von der Meyer will speak today evening to see whether there is a “landing zone” for a deal.
According to the political observers, the trade talks between Britain and Europe stopped at the very difficult stage on Friday.
The EU and Great Britain have been negotiating a post-Brexit trade agreement for eight months, but after intensive discussions, the negotiators Michel Barnier and David Frost and their teams had interrupted negotiations due to "significant differences of opinion".
The conditions for an agreement are not met, tweeted EU negotiator Mr. Barnier. The reason for this are differences over uniform conditions of competition, fishing and rules for compliance with the agreement. His British counterpart Mr. Frost also published an identical statement on Twitter. The reason for the stalled negotiations are "major disagreements" in the areas of fair competition, control of a future agreement and fishing rights for EU fishermen in British waters.
Despite the deadlocked talks, Barnier remains willing to reach a trade deal. "We remain calm as always," he said in London to British broadcasters as he made his way back to Brussels by train after the suspension of negotiations.
Conservative Eurosceptic MPs have warned Mr Johnson not to accept any deal that undermines the UK’s sovereignty, while France is threatening to veto any agreement that fails to meet its demands on competition and fisheries.
The British fear tariffs since January 1st if agreement is not reached
The rushed agreement can lead to unwanted consequences like limits for French fishermen, which are a long-term interest of France as stated French President Emmanuel Macron. "Maintaining our fishermen's activities in British waters is an important condition," Macron said. It was only on Friday that France threatened with a veto: "Should there be an agreement that is not good, we would oppose it," said European Secretary of State Clément Beaune to the radio station Europe 1.
Due to the expiry of the Brexit negotiation period with the EU at the end of the year, kilometers of truck traffic jams formed in front of the French border crossings with Great Britain. The British stocked up massively with goods, said the local secretary general of the French freight forwarders association FNTR, Sébastien Rivéra. They feared tariffs starting January 1 if the EU and the UK fail to reach an agreement.