EU Leaders to insist on tough enforcement powers in Brexit deal – FT
- Emmanuel Macron and other EU leaders will this week insist on tough enforcement rules for any UK trade deal, warning that Boris Johnson’s move to override the Brexit treaty has shown Britain’s word cannot be trusted.
- EU diplomats said Michel Barnier would be told to ensure that “level playing field” guarantees for European businesses competing with UK companies were backed by the right for Brussels to take rapid retaliatory action if Britain breached its commitments, with the right for the bloc to take “interim” and “autonomous” measures even before a dispute settlement panel has ruled, and to “cross-retaliate” against different sectors of the UK economy.
- Barnier has said that 31 October is the “realistic deadline” for an agreement to be reached if new trading arrangements are to be in place for 1 January. Officials believe the success of the talks will turn on the ability of negotiators to strike a grand bargain on fishing rights, level playing field arrangements, and governance of the future relationship.
- Diplomats said that even traditional UK allies such as Germany had been spooked by Johnson’s internal market bill.
- Barnier has been pushing EU coastal states to step back from their hardline demands on fish and Johnson emphasised the need for the EU to give ground in a call with Macron on Saturday. But diplomats insist that politically the EU cannot emerge from the talks appearing to hand an overwhelming victory to the UK’s fishing fleet. Barnier “has to be very careful”, said one.
Brexit: Time for trade deal getting short, PM warns – BBC
- Boris Johnson has set a deadline of this Thursday, after which he has said the UK is ready to “walk away”.
- The prime minister set his deadline to coincide with the start of an EU summit, at which leaders will discuss the state of the trade talks.
- It has been reported that France is ready to rule out a deal if the UK does not back down over fishing rights.
Campaigners in last-ditch push to protect farming standards post-Brexit – Guardian
- Campaigners are staging a last-ditch attempt to enshrine food safety and animal welfare standards in UK law after Brexit, as the agriculture bill returns this week for debate and a series of votes in both houses of parliament.
- The government is said to be adamantly opposed to legislating for a continuation of the high standards required under EU law, with farmers asked instead to rely on ministerial assurances that standards will be upheld after Brexit. A spokesperson dismissed concerns as “unhelpful scaremongering”.
- In the government’s view, enshrining a commitment to EU or equivalent standards in the agriculture bill would tie the hands of negotiators seeking a post-Brexit trade deal with the US, which wants its agricultural producers to have full access to the UK market.
- The government has set up a Trade and Agriculture Commission to provide assurances that standards will be upheld, but it has been criticised as lacking real powers.