“We have seen how the European Union has behaved, especially in the past two weeks, in order to reverse the progress we were making towards an agreement,” said British Minister of the Council, Michael Gove, in an interview with the BBC.
Gove said he hoped the European Union (EU) would “change its position”, noting that those in charge of negotiating teams in the UK and Brussels will talk by phone in the coming days.
“We will see if the European Union understands the importance of reaching an agreement, as well as the importance of giving up ground,” he noted.
On Monday, British chief negotiator David Frost refused to hold a face-to-face meeting in London with his EU counterpart Michel Barnier.
As of Friday, the United Kingdom considered that the post-Brexit negotiations were finished, adding that it only admits to resume contact if the EU “fundamentally changes its position”.
“Trade negotiations are over. The EU ended them, saying it does not want to change its negotiating position. Either the EU fundamentally changes its position or we leave [do período de transição] in terms of Australia, ”British Prime Minister James Slack’s spokesman told reporters at the time.
On the same day, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson advised British companies, carriers and travelers to prepare for a non-deal relationship with the EU starting in 2021, as is the case with Australia.
“Given that they [UE] refused to negotiate seriously for most of the past few months, and given that the Council seems to explicitly exclude a Canada-style agreement, I concluded that we should prepare for, on January 1, terms that are more similar to those in Australia , based on simple principles of global free trade, ”he said.
In the conclusions adopted during the Brexit summit, published on Thursday, the European Council “calls on Member States, European institutions and all stakeholders to increase preparedness at all levels and for all types of scenarios, including the ‘no-deal’ [cenário em que a UE e o Reino Unido não chegariam a um acordo comercial pós-Brexit]”.
The main points of contention remain the conditions of competition between companies, fisheries and a mechanism to resolve conflicts in the implementation of the agreement that the EU requires to unblock an agreement that allows British access to the European single market without quotas or fees.
The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020. In accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, it is now officially a third country, so it no longer participates in the EU’s decision-making process.
However, by mutual agreement, the EU and the United Kingdom have decided to establish a transitional period, which ends on 31 December 2020.