As the Brexit transition period draws to a close, negotiators from both sides are making the “final push” to avoid a no-deal scenario.
In a meeting with ambassadors in Brussels, the EU`s chief negotiator, Michael Barnier said they are beginning to make headway in trade talks with some topics even “preliminarily closed or close to being agreed”. However, an EU diplomat said fishing access and quotas “remain difficult to bridge”.
Speaking in Brussels, where the talks are happening, Mr Barnier said: “We are really in a crucial moment and we are giving it a final push. In 10 days, the UK will leave the single market.”
Recently, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK would “prosper mightily“, with or without a trade deal. However, in a no-deal scenario, both sides could place import taxes on each other`s good, which could have an impact on prices.
Following the emergence of a new coronavirus variant which sparked panic, a number of borders were closed creating a backdrop of chaos at Dover with hundreds of lorries queueing along the M20 motorway. Boris Johnson has been warned that the lorry chaos is a glimpse of “what leaving the EU really means”.
Food and Drink Federation chief executive Ian Wright told the Commons Business Committee: “The scenes at Dover I think could be replicated at any point going forward.
“The intensity and impact of this on the supply chain is the concern. I think you will see this happen again, particularly if we get a no-deal Brexit with the imposition of tariffs. It won’t necessarily be as bad as this, but this will become a commonplace. The lorries with the wrong paperwork or whatever gets stuck in the queue and then things delayed.”