Workers finish preparations on an overflow parking lot for trucks after the Brexit transition period, in Hook of Holland, near Rotterdam, Netherlands, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. The parking lot is being set up near Hook of Holland for trucks whose drivers have not filled in the necessary paperwork to get onto a ferry bound for England. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

EU-UK trade talks slog on past another Brexit deadline

EU-UK trade talks slog on past another Brexit deadline

BRUSSELS — Problems increased Monday for the attempt to secure a trade deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom before a Brexit transition period ends on New Year’s Day, with the EU legislature insisting the drawn-out negotiations left lawmakers without enough time to approve a deal.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, meanwhile, displayed insouciance over whether an agreement is reached or not, saying Britain would “prosper mightily” even if the talks collapsed overnight. “Not that we don’t want a deal,” Johnson hastened to add during an afternoon news conference.

British and EU negotiators were still deadlocked over fishing rights with only 10 days to go before a chaotic, costly economic break between both sides is to become official. Barring a late breakthrough, it would impose tariffs on trade between the sides, on top of the customs and other administrative red tape imposed by Britain’s decision to leave the 27-nation bloc.

Hundreds of thousands of jobs are at stake throughout the economies of both sides if no deal is found, but Britain is still insisting its sovereignty trumps concessions granting EU vessels rights in U.K. waters and the EU is refusing to open its lucrative single market to the U.K. unless it commits to play by EU rules.

“It’s vital that everybody understands that the U.K. has got to be able to control its own laws completely, and also that we are going to be able to control our own fisheries,” Johnson said.

EU legislators were mulling their next moves now that that both sides had ignored a Sunday deadline the European Parliament had set for agreement terms to be worked out in order to have enough time to assess them before Jan. 1.

“Under a normal procedure, this is no longer possible,” the EU parliament’s chief Brexit official, German lawmaker David McAllister, told The Associated Press. “We showed our utmost flexibility, but the Sunday evening was the last possible date.”

Now, the EU will have to show legal creativity to stave off a no-deal cliff edge.

“There are other options which now have to be looked at, including, on the one hand, the possibility of extending the (Brexit) transition period,” McAllister said. “But this would require a political will on both sides. Or, the other option is provisional application.”

Meanwhile, the tiny fisheries sector continued to befuddle the negotiators, while most of the other issues that had long divided both sides now seemed within reach of agreement.

And both sides remained as entrenched as they have been over the past months.

“We want an accord… but not just any accord,” French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said. France is leading the EU offensive to keep as many EU vessels in U.K. waters for as long as possible.

The stalemate has left the overall talks inconclusive, with businesses on both sides clamouring for a deal that would save tens of billions in costs. One official from an EU coastal nation said the EU was refusing to yield more than a quarter of the fishing quotas the bloc stands to lose now that Britain is regaining full control of its waters due to Brexit. Britain is also steadfast that a three-year transition period would be long enough for EU fishermen to adapt to the new rules, while the EU wants at least six years.

A failure to reach a post-Brexit deal would lead to more chaos on Britain’s borders with the EU at the start of 2021, when new tariffs would add to other impediments to trade enacted by both sides. The talks have bogged down on two main issues over the past days — the EU’s access to U.K. fishing waters and assurances of fair competition between businesses.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan called on Johnson to extend the transition period, something the prime minister has refused to do. Before Britain left the EU’s political institutions on Jan. 31 this year, Johnson forced through a tight timeframe which ends on Jan. 1, 2021` over the objections of the EU, which always claimed 11 months offered too little time to negotiate a fully fledged trade deal.

A trade deal would ensure there are no tariffs and quotas on trade in goods between the two sides, but there would still be technical costs, partly associated with customs checks and non-tariff barriers on services.

While both sides would suffer economically from a failure to secure a trade deal, most economists think the British economy would take a greater hit, at least in the near-term, as it is relatively more reliant on trade with the EU than vice versa.

___

Angela Charlton contributed from Paris.

___

Follow all AP stories on the Brexit trade talks at https://apnews.com/Brexit

___

Raf Casert And Mark Carlson, The Associated Press

Brexit

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An ice sculpture of a bee with a timely message was created near the Ross Street Patio. It’s party of a Downtown Business Association initiative to draw more people downtown to support local businesses. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Ice sculptures created to draw more people to downtown Red Deer

Three sculptures can be seem at various venues

(Black Press file photo)
Police seeking suspects in Bowden armed robbery

Man was beaten and robbed of his wallet

Many students and staff at St. Joseph High School are in COVID-19 quarantine. (File photo by Advocate staff)
COVID cases: Red Deer school reverts back to at-home learning

Majority of students under COVID-19 quarantine

Red Deer RCMP say Alexander King was last seen about a month ago. (Contributed)
Red Deer teen reported missing

RCMP ask for public’s assistance

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks in the in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Payette shouldn’t get same benefits as other ex-governors general: O’Toole

OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole says it’s not appropriate for former… Continue reading

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

pe
Too many new pet owners, not enough vets make getting animal care a problem

CALGARY — Dr. Liz Ruelle says it was a difficult decision to… Continue reading

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP officer in Alberta charged with off-duty sexual assault in Edmonton

EDMONTON — Alberta’s police watchdog says an RCMP officer has been charged… Continue reading

Canada’s 29th Governor General Julie Payette looks on alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Senate chamber during her installation ceremony, in Ottawa on Monday, October 2, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says GG vetting process needs improvement after Payette resigns

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s admission Friday that he might have… Continue reading

NDP member of Parliament Lindsay Mathyssen speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP warns of long delays in equal pay for women in federal pay equity rules

OTTAWA — The federal New Democrats say new rules to close a… Continue reading

President Joe Biden waves as he departs after attending Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021, in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington. Less than a week after the economic gut punch of cancelling Keystone XL, Canada is bracing for more bad news today from the White House. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Patrick Semansky
U.S. president to sign executive orders enacting stringent new Buy American regimen

WASHINGTON — Less than a week after the economic gut punch of… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
Wetaskiwin RCMP investigate fatal pedestrian collision

A 37-year-old man from Maskwacis has died in hospital as a result of his injuries.

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a personal support worker at the Ottawa Hospital Tuesday December 15, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canadian provinces push back vaccination plans as Pfizer deliveries grind to a halt

Some Canadian health-care workers are being told they’ll have to wait longer… Continue reading

A Shell logo is seen at a petrol station in London on January 20, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Kirsty Wigglesworth
Shell buys European electric car charging firm ubitricity

Experts say easier access to charging facilities key to successful rollout of electric vehicles

Most Read