BRUSSELS, Nov. 18 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The economic vice president of the European Commission, Valdis Dombrovskis, stressed this Wednesday that the negotiation between the European Union and the United Kingdom to agree on the framework of the future relationship is in “the final moments” in which an agreement will be possible in time for its entry into force when the transition period expires and Brexit is consumed on January 1.
“Negotiations are ongoing with great intensity because we are already in the final push to reach an agreement and on the side of the Commission we will continue working with this objective,” explained Dombrovskis at a press conference in Brussels.
The European negotiator, Michel Barnier, reported this Wednesday to the College of Commissioners on the status of the talks, while a new round of contacts between the British and Europeans takes place in Brussels this week.
Barnier also plans to inform the Twenty-seven ambassadors on Friday about the progress, although Dombrovskis did not want to answer whether after listening to the European negotiator they are more or less optimistic about the possibilities of an agreement in the coming days.
“We have seen many deadlines pass but there is one that we cannot change and it is January 1, when the transitional period ends. We can say that we are in the final moments to reach an agreement,” the community vice president has settled, to underline that the community executive works “intensely” to resolve differences.
Brussels and London continue to seek solutions to overcome the “important elements” that still separate the parties, so there is still “substantial work” to do on the part of the negotiating teams, in the words of Dombrovskis.
Although Dombrovskis has not listed them this time, the main obstacles that keep the EU and the United Kingdom from an agreement have not changed since the negotiations began to design the new relationship, since the positions remain far apart on three key issues: the guarantees of fair conditions in terms of competition on both sides of the English Channel, access to British waters by the Community fleet and the governance of the Treaty itself.
“We want our future cooperation to be open but fair in all areas,” Barnier said Monday at the beginning of the negotiating round, when he defended that the community bloc remains “determined, patient and respectful” in the interests of a successful outcome. Without an agreement in time for its entry into force on January 1, trade relations between the Twenty-seven and the United Kingdom will be based on the rules on tariffs and quotas set by the World Trade Organization.