Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit negotiation team have bagged one major win as Brussels accept to drop security within the deal that is subject to dispute and concentrate on other issues.
Michel Barnier who’s leading the European Union team has finally accepted to put aside police and judicial cooperation from potential sanctions in the event of any future trade rows with Britain.
A source from the EU revealed that Mr Barneir said he would reluctantly withdraw a demand that would allow the bloc to suspend future security collaborations after any dispute over economic sections of a future relationship pact.
The move has been described by Mr Barnier’s allies as a significant concession in a bid to unlock the wrangling over a post-Brexit deal as the details of the drawback emerged while the EU lead negotiator is locked in talks with UK counterpart Lord Frost ahead of a mid-November deadline to reach a deal.
Although Britain and the European officials are believed to be in an advanced stage of talks right now over governance; mechanisms for regulating any future trade and security pact.
Lord Frost has reportedly pushed back at demands by the EU to ensure the bloc will have the powers to “cross-retaliate” on different sections of the deal in the event of any dispute in future.
Following Mr Barnier’s initial plan, the EU would be able to hit the UK with trade sanctions if there is a disagreement over post-Brexit fishing rights any time in the future. But that is changed now as he admitted it will be unfair to withdraw police and judicial cooperation as part of any potential punishments.
Mr Barnier refused to let go demands for cross-suspension in the areas of the level-playing field, transport, energy and fisheries, essentially allowing the EU to clamp down on most sections of the agreement as part of a dispute.
Talks over the dispute settlement system for regulating any future deal have been described as a serious problem by an EU source. This comes as talks between both sides last week didn’t go well and there was an agreement between them to hold extra sessions mainly for the governance structure.
Speaking on the state of things currently, a government spokesperson said, “Unfortunately we haven’t achieved as much as we’d hoped so far during this intensive process. We will only be able to make progress if the EU accepts the reality that the UK will have the right to control access to its waters at the end of this year.
“We are asking for a simple, separate fisheries framework agreement which reflects our rights under international law and which provides for annual negotiations over access and sharing opportunities based on the scientific principle of zonal attachment.
“This is squarely in line with the existing precedent of the EU’s current fisheries agreement with Norway. The EU also does not seem to have realised the scale of change in fishing rights they face if there is no agreement.”