A Brexit breakthrough could be on the cards – Spectator
- James Forsyth wrote today in The Times (and in the Spectator) that there is growing optimism that a deal can be struck.
- According to Forsyth’s source “there’s no doubt that the tone has improved but we really need to begin the intensive talks to resolve the final tricky issues. We’re keen to begin now, but at the moment the EU keeps blocking these talks and demanding more process. The real risk now isn’t that the talks fail over substance, it’s that they will be timed out.”
- Although a deal would secure the UK’s exit from the EU, it would also allow the prime minister to focus on the post-Covid phase of his premiership and the domestic agenda.
France rejects UK ‘intimidation’ on post-Brexit deal – FT
- Clement Beaune (France’s Europe minister) has warned that the EU won’t yield to “intimidation” to reach an agreement with the UK.
- According to Beaune the signals sent in the last few days have been “damaging” and the Internal Market Bill is a likely deal-breaker.
- Comments by Michael Gove on lorry queues are seen as a way of putting pressure on the EU that “won’t work”.
- France is still keen for the EU to secure a deal with the UK but this will only be possible if the UK respects the EU’s health and environmental rules and its restrictions on state aid.
Brexit: Brussels punctures optimism that deal in sight – The Guardian
- Michel Barnier has told EU ministers that there is “a more open atmosphere at the negotiating table” but that “substantial differences of opinion remain, particularly on a level playing field.”
- The UK government want to move into intensive “tunnel” negotiations ahead of the EU summit on 15 October but Brussels do not trust that the UK government can keep its word.
- EU leaders are due to meet at the end of next week to discuss foreign policy issues and to be briefed by Michel Barnier.
- A UK government official is quoted saying that “differences on fisheries and the level playing field remain significant … if the gaps in these areas are to be bridged, the EU’s more constructive attitude will need to be translated into more realistic policy positions in the days to come”.
- Meanwhile EU leaders have suggested that if the disagreements over state aid can be resolved before 15 October, a deal could follow on fisheries.
Shoppers could pay more after no-deal Brexit – BBC
- According to the British Retail Consortium, if no free trade agreement between the US and EU is achieved, tariffs would add £3.1 billion each year to the import cost of food and drink.
- The EU is currently the source of 80% of the UK’s imported food.
- It is anticipated that in the case of a no-deal exit, the average tariff on imported food could be over 20%.