GB-UNION-FRANCE: Brexit: An agreement must be found by early November, says Paris
PARIS (Reuters) – Britain and the European Union must reach an agreement on their future trade relations by early November, French Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune said on Sunday, reaffirming that the Twenty Seven would not accept a compromise on the cheap.
“To put it simply, we have to have an agreement in the coming weeks. That means around the beginning of November or so,” the Secretary of State said on FranceInfo.
“We must not lose our calm in the last days of negotiations because it is there, sometimes, that we make bad concessions,” he added.
In an interview with Journal du Dimanche, Minister of the Sea Annick Girardin said for her part that French fishermen would rather not have an agreement rather than accept a bad agreement on their fishing rights after Brexit.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday that London would explore all possible avenues to reach a trade deal but that progress should be made in the coming days to settle the differences, notably on the fisheries dossier. .
The two parties theoretically have no more than a few days to come to an agreement, the date of October 15 – next Thursday – having been set to reach an agreement on the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom.
The two chief negotiators, Michel Barnier for the EU and David Frost for the UK, said on Friday that they had made progress towards a deal while stressing that important differences still needed to be bridged on issues related to fishing rights, the establishment of a level playing field in terms of competition and governance.
London and the Europeans officially divorced on January 31, but then entered a period of transition, the time to find common ground on their future relations, especially trade.
This period will end on December 31. After this date, for lack of agreement, it will be a “dry” divorce, the “leap of the cliff” that the business circles fear in particular.
(Gwénaëlle Barzic and John Irish)