rain.png
Sunday June 20th, 2021 3:59PM

EU warns UK on commitments ahead of more Brexit trade talks

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union warned the British government on Monday that any attempt to renege on commitments made ahead of its departure from the bloc earlier this year could put at risk the hard-won peace in Northern Ireland.

The comments show growing signs that trust between the two sides is evaporating ahead of another round of Brexit trade talks Tuesday in London. Britain left the bloc on Jan. 31 but the two sides are in a transition period that ends at the end of this year and are negotiating their future trade ties.

The 27-nation bloc said any attempt by Britain's Conservative government to unilaterally ride roughshod over its divorce agreement with the EU could also jeopardize the prospects for a trade deal.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the EU's Executive Commission, said she expects British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government to implement the withdrawal agreement that paved the way for the U.K.'s smooth departure from the bloc. She said in a tweet that the agreement is an “obligation under international law” and a “prerequisite for any future partnership.”

She added the section in the agreement that ensures an open border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the U.K., and EU member Ireland, is “essential to protect peace and stability on the island."

Her comments followed a report in the Financial Times newspaper that the British government is planning domestic legislation that would effectively override the international treaty obligations enshrined in the Brexit withdrawal agreement, particularly over issues related to the Irish border.

Johnson has said Britain could walk away from the talks within weeks and insists that a no-deal exit would be a “good outcome for the U.K.” He said in a statement that any agreement must be sealed by an EU summit scheduled for Oct. 15.

The EU has previously said negotiations must conclude before the end of October.

Monday's developments prompted widespread selling of the British pound as traders priced in a growing likelihood that the trade talks could be heading for collapse. The pound was down 0.9% against both the dollar and the euro.

During this transition period, the U.K. remains within the EU’s economic orbit, benefiting from frictionless and tariff-free trade. But British businesses are worried about the uncertainty of what happens to their trading ties with their biggest market beginning Jan. 1.

The EU's chief negotiator in the talks, Michel Barnier, said Monday that he will be seeking clarification from David Frost, his counterpart in the U.K., on Tuesday “to better understand the government’s intentions.”

“This protocol is a condition for preserving peace and for protecting the integrity of the single market,” Barnier told French radio France Inter. “It’s also a pre-condition for confidence between us because everything that has been signed in the past must be respected.”

Britain's environment secretary, George Eustice, sought to downplay concerns that the government is seeking to tear up its treaty obligations. He argued that the Internal Market Bill, due to be published Wednesday, aims to to tie up some “loose ends” where there was a need for “legal certainty."

He insisted that Johnson's government remained committed to the principles of the deal, which will see customs checks on some goods moving from the rest of the U.K. to Northern Ireland.

“What we are talking about here is what type of administrative customs processes you might have for goods that might be at risk of entering the EU single market,” he told BBC radio.

James Slack, the prime minister's spokesman, also insisted that the government remains “fully committed” to the Brexit withdrawal agreement and that this week's legislation is intended to clear up “ambiguity” and avoid “unintended consequences” in the complex border agreement.

If the U.K. to walk away from the talks, the two sides would be heading toward a no-deal outcome that would see tariffs and other impediments to trade imposed at the start of the year.

Kallum Pickering, senior economist at Berenberg Bank, said in that situation the costs would fall “disproportionately” on the U.K., potentially tipping it back into recession in early 2021, while temporarily slowing the EU recovery.

“For the U.K. and the EU to find compromises on the sticking points, both sides must work to build trust,” he said. “The U.K.’s actions are doing the opposite.”

The trade discussions have made very little progress over the summer, with the two sides seemingly wide apart on several issues, notably on business regulations, the extent to which the U.K. can support certain industries and over the EU's fishing rights access to British waters.

The German government said a deal was still possible and that it’s in the interest of both sides to secure one.

“For this, Britain in particular needs to move on the core issues of governance, what’s summed up as ‘level playing field,’ and on the issue of fisheries,” said German government spokesman Steffen Seibert.

___

Pylas contributed from London. Frank Jordans contributed from Berlin.

__

Follow all AP stories about Brexit and British politics at https://apnews.com/Brexit.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Financial Markets
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Doctors fear lack of ICU beds in southern France
Doctors are raising the alarm that nearly all the intensive care beds reserved for COVID-19 patients are in use in and around France’s second city of Marseille
12:09PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Hospital: Russia's Alexei Navalny out of coma, is responsive
The German hospital treating Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says he has been taken out of an induced coma and is responsive
12:09PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Latest: Denmark limits gatherings in capital to 50 people
Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke says authorities have reduced the number of people who can gather in greater Copenhagen from 100 to 50
11:59AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
UK judge rejects bid to delay Assange extradition hearing
A British judge has rejected a request by lawyers for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to delay his extradition hearing until next year to give his lawyers more time to respond to U.S. allegations that he conspired with hackers to obtain classified information
11:20AM ( 59 minutes ago )
EU warns UK on commitments ahead of more Brexit trade talks
The European Union has warned the British government not to renege on commitments made ahead of its departure from the bloc earlier this year
11:17AM ( 1 hour ago )
Asia Today: India surges to world's 2nd-worst virus caseload
India’s coronavirus cases surged to 4.2 million, the second-highest total in the world, on Monday as metro trains partially resume service in the capital New Delhi and other states
10:16AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP World News
The Latest: Spanish league hopes for fan return in February
Spanish league president Javier Tebas says he expects fans back in the country’s soccer stadiums by next February if vaccine trials are successful
10:44AM ( 1 hour ago )
Food banks: USDA program helped but better ways to meet need
As demand continues to surge at food banks, the federal government is preparing to spend another $1.5 billion on a program that has provided a key source of fresh food to charities this summer as they work to feed the hungry
9:31AM ( 2 hours ago )
Labor Day bringing Biden to Pa., Harris and Pence to Wis.
The 2020 presidential race is entering its final phase
9:01AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Business
Global markets mixed after Wall Street slides
Global stock markets are mixed after Wall Street turned in its biggest weekly decline in more than two months
5:33AM ( 6 hours ago )
China's export growth quickens in August, imports edge lower
China’s export growth accelerated in August while imports edged lower as the world’s second-largest economy extended its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic
5:06AM ( 7 hours ago )
India now 2nd behind US in virus cases amid economic pain
India’s increasing coronavirus caseload has made the Asian giant the world's second-worst-hit country behind the United States
4:35AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
The Latest: Model projects 1.9M more deaths by end of 2020
A widely cited model predicts worsening outbreaks in the Northern Hemisphere will lead to 1.9 million more coronavirus deaths in 2020 unless governments act
3:58PM ( 2 days ago )
Stocks head lower on Wall Street a day after tech sell-off
Stocks are falling again on Wall Street Friday, a day after a big slump in technology companies pulled the market to its biggest drop since June
10:30AM ( 3 days ago )
Stocks open higher on Wall Street a day after tech sell-off
Stocks are opening higher on Wall Street Friday, a day after a big slump in technology companies pulled the market to its biggest drop since June
9:39AM ( 3 days ago )
AP Business - Financial Markets
Hospital: Russia's Alexei Navalny out of coma, is responsive
The German hospital treating Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says he has been taken out of an induced coma and is responsive
12:09PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Russian delegation in Syria to expand trade, economic ties
Russia's deputy prime minister says a senior Russian delegation in Damascus has discussed the expansion of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries to circumvent U.S. sanctions
11:56AM ( 23 minutes ago )
The Latest: Pandemic forces cancellation of Dickens festival
The coronavirus pandemic has proved to be the worst of times for an annual Dutch celebration of the works of 19th century British author Charles Dickens
11:43AM ( 37 minutes ago )
The Latest: Double lung transplant virus survivor going home
Doctors say Poland’s first double lung transplant COVID-19 patient is feeling fine and will be going home this week
11:35AM ( 44 minutes ago )
French Open allowing spectators amid virus resurgence
Spectators will be allowed at the French Open this month despite the growing number of coronavirus cases in the country
11:27AM ( 53 minutes ago )