Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen set for Brexit call tonight

Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen will go over the state of post-Brexit trade talks in a crunch call this evening.

The Prime Minister is anticipated to speak with the President of the European Commission at 7pm UK time.

The conversation has been billed as a ‘stocktake’ instead of the moment of advancement or collapse.

It follows Michael Gove warned the opportunities of the UK and the EU concurring a trade accord by Sunday are ‘less than 50 percent’.

The Minister for the Cabinet Workplace told MPs on the Brexit Select Committee that presently ‘the chances are more likely that we will not protect a contract’.

Meanwhile, European Parliament chiefs today set a due date of this weekend for an agreement to be in location.

They warned that if an offer was to be finalised past that point it would not enable sufficient time for MEPs to correctly scrutinise and after that elect it before the end of the ‘standstill’ shift duration on December 31.

The need for a deal to be done by the end of Sunday will stack the pressure on negotiators as they try to break the deadlock on crunch concerns.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, raised hopes of a contract being in sight today as he stated ‘excellent progress’ had actually been made as talks get in the ‘final stretch’.

But he also warned the ‘last stumbling blocks stay’ and Brussels ‘will just sign an offer safeguarding EU interests and principles’.

Last night Mr Johnson told MPs they will be recalled from their Christmas break to vote for an offer must one be agreed.

Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen will speak on the phone this evening to talk about the state of post-Brexit trade talks

Earlier Michael Gove told MPs the possibilities of the UK and the EU concurring a trade deal by Sunday are ‘less than 50 per cent’

Michel Barnier today stated ‘good development’ has been made in post-Brexit trade talks between the UK and the EU

But the EU’s primary arbitrator cautioned there the ‘last stumbling blocks remain’ as he stated negotiations are in the ‘last stretch’

What are the sticking points in Brexit talks? FISHING The UK has actually firmly insisted that it will take back control of its seaside waters from the end of the transition duration. But the EU was requiring its fleets preserve previous levels of gain access to – with Emmanuel Macron under specific pressure from the French fishing market. Initially the UK stated it wanted to reclaim 80 per cent of the EU quotas from January 1. However, Brussels recommended that only 18 percent ought to be restored. The 2 sides are believed to be close to a ‘landing zone’ that includes a transition duration, possibly of 5 or seven years. However, there is no settlement yet. LEVEL PLAYING FIELD The EU has actually firmly insisted the UK dedicates to ‘level playing field’ provisions, ensuring it will not damage organizations on the continent by rolling out lower ecological standards and guidelines. State aid has emerged as a particular problem, particularly as coronavirus makes swathes of the economy unviable. But the UK says it should restore sovereign powers to decide on guidelines, despite the fact that it has no plans to lower requirements or warp competition by subsidising the private sector. It appeared this location was close to resolution prior to France reportedly set a series of additional conditions including substantial penalties in the type of tariffs for breaking the guidelines. Although the UK is happy with ‘non-regression’ – suggesting present standards are accepted as a baseline – it has dismissed demands to obey rules made by the bloc in future. Michel Barnier informed EU ambassadors this week the UK is now going to accept the requirement for a ‘rebalancing system’ on guidelines which could deal with the row. GOVERNANCE The enforcement of any deal, and who decides whether guidelines are broken, has actually been among the flashpoints from the start. Breaking without the European Court of Justice was amongst the greatest demands of Brexiteers at the EU referendum. However Brussels has been pushing to keep control of the governance, along with demanding difficult fines and punitive tariffs for breaches. The governance issue is heavily linked to that of the ‘equal opportunity’ with an advancement on the latter most likely to pave the way for a development on the previous. Ad

There has actually been growing optimism in recent days that the UK and the EU are not far away from agreeing a trade offer after months of stalemate.

However Mr Gove delivered a blow to hopes of an accord looming this afternoon as he told MPs: ‘My new resolution adopted from a couple of weeks earlier is to prevent offering percentages.

‘ But I think at the moment in fact I believe regrettably the chances are most likely that we won’t secure a contract.

‘ So at the moment, less than 50 per cent.’

Mr Gove had been asked what the opportunities are of a deal being in location by Sunday after European Parliament group leaders said that is the latest they will accept an accord to be scrutinised and voted on.

The leaders embraced a declaration this morning stating that they will not vote on the Brexit deal prior to completion of the year if they can not access its text by the end of the weekend.

The declaration from the Conference of Presidents, initiated by Spanish member Iratxe Garcia Perez, specifies they are prepared to hold an amazing session at the end of December if an arrangement is reached by midnight on Sunday December 21.

It likewise calls for a provisionary text of the trade contract to be provided to European Parliament members as quickly as possible.

Britain and Brussels stay split on 2 crunch concerns: Fishing rights and the so-called ‘level playing field’ on guidelines.

Development has been made on the latter however the conflict over future EU access to UK waters is threatening to torpedo the talks, with no development in sight.

Mr Barnier struck a more optimistic than anticipated tone today as negotiations continue in Brussels.

He tweeted: ‘In this last stretch of talks, transparency & unity are essential as ever: Debriefed [European Parliament] Conference of Presidents this morning on negotiations.

‘ Good development, but last stumbling blocks stay. We will only sign a deal protecting EU interests & principles.’

Any offer concurred by the UK and the EU will have to be voted on and approved by both the British Parliament and the European Parliament prior to it can be rolled out.

MPs are because of break for Christmas from this night however Downing Street has actually stated they will be remembered at 2 days’ notification should a deal be concurred.

Number 10 said: ‘Parliament has actually long revealed it can move at rate and the country would expect absolutely nothing less.’

The ratification procedure is anticipated to take a variety of days, with the mediators now under massive time pressure to get an offer over the line as soon as possible.

A failure to concur and validate an offer by the end of December 31 will force Britain and the bloc to trade on fundamental World Trade Organisation terms from January 1, with tariffs troubled products.

Ms von der Leyen raised hopes of a deal yesterday as she said there is a path to an accord but warned it is ‘extremely narrow’.

Mr Johnson last night told MPs they will be remembered from their Christmas break to vote on an offer should one be agreed

She stated progress had been made on the ‘level playing field’ on rules but described her worry that the fishing problem may never be solved.

Dealing With the European Parliament, she stated: ‘As things stand I can not tell you whether there will be a deal or not however I can tell you that there is a course to a contract now.

‘The path might be really narrow but it is there and it is therefore our duty to continue attempting.

‘The bright side is that we have discovered a way forward on the majority of concerns but this is now a case people being so close and yet being so far away from each other.

‘Since 2 issues still remain exceptional, you know them, the equal opportunity and the fisheries.’

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