Negotiations on a treaty for future relations between the UK and the EU are in the last legs. A press conference is expected in the morning.
After extensive agreement on key points of a Brexit trade pact, everything points to a deal on Christmas Eve. The experts on both sides had worked on the details right up to the end. The work will continue all night, wrote the EU Commission spokesman, Eric Mamer, on Twitter on Wednesday evening. A press conference is planned for early Thursday morning, the BBC reported. premier Boris Johnson informed his most important ministers about the current status that night, reported the PA agency.
Without an agreement, there is a risk of tariffs
The comprehensive trade agreement is designed to avoid a severe economic break at the last minute. The Brexit transition phase will end on December 31, and Great Britain will leave the EU internal market and the customs union. Without an agreement, there is a risk of tariffs and trade barriers.
At the end of the day, the biggest points of contention were the EU demand for fair competition between the contracting parties – an agreement in principle was announced on Wednesday afternoon – and the access rights for EU fishermen to British waters. The contract was almost ready, it said early Thursday morning from EU circles.
“The signs are good,” said Ireland’s Prime Minister Micheál Martin on Irish television that evening. After a lot of work and time had been put into the key issue of fisheries, “there seems to be a feeling today that something is coming to a close”.