EU and UK far apart in trade talks as virus scare disrupts negotiations
BRITAIN and the European Union are far apart on key issues they need to resolve if they are to strike a trade agreement by the year-end, reports Bloomberg
16 March 2020 - 19:00
If they don't strike a deal by the end of the year, the UK will revert to World Trade Organisation terms, which would mean the return of tariffs and quotas.
The EU demands fishing access to British and a role for the European Court of Justice to serve as referee in a draft of the agreement.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already ruled out any ECJ jurisdiction and vowed to take back control of British waters. The UK had planned to produce its own draft trade agreement ahead of next week's talks.
That document is likely to be far more limited in scope because Johnson is seeking a limited deal on goods trade similar to the one Canada reached with the EU.
Negotiations between the two sides, which started last month, have been held up by the coronavirus outbreak. Next week's set of face-to-face talks in London have been canceled, although some officials may hold discussions by video link.
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