EU negotiators have threatened to deny British truckers access to European roads as Brexit trade deal talk stall further. The haulage dispute is one of five major points that have remained unsettled between both sides till date, even though the UK and the EU have said they remain committed to beating the disagreements to complete a deal in just two months.
In the latest clash at the Brussels talks, the bloc’s negotiators are to reject a British request for the current wide-ranging road haulage rules for British HGV drivers to remain in place after the UK’s departure from the EU single market and customs union at the end of the year, Express reported.
The UK chief negotiator and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier have failed completely to reach an agreement during a meeting over dinner in the Belgian capital earlier this week, with Mr Barnier telling officials in EU member states that the UK wants to retain access for British truckers to the bloc’s market.
He claimed the request was part of Boris Johnson’s bid to secure a best of both worlds Brexit deal with “single market-like benefits”.
However, the EU has threatened to clamp down on British truckers are part of the bloc’s attempt to force Britain to accept a “level-playing field” in regulations.
European Commission negotiators claim the UK will have to face different restrictions for its haulage drivers if Boris Johnson is not prepared to accept a host of continuing Brussels rules in other areas, even though the country is leaving the bloc’s regulatory regime.
British negotiators believe the EU is focused on maintaining its rights to meddle in UK affairs after Brexit. However, with the haulage rule coming up now, there are believes that talks are entering a new phase focused on detail as the October deadline for agreeing on the broad outline of a UK and EU trade deal looms.
There’re people on the British side who’re convinced that the EU is desperate for a deal but wants to intentional make unnecessary noise before the final weeks of the trade deal talk.
Some major points in the negotiations talks include:
- The EU wants unchanged fishing quotas for European fishing fleets but Boris Johnson’s Government is demanding full control over UK territorial waters.
- Brussels wants to bar UK financial services from free access to EU money markets. The UK is seeking a Canada-style free trade deal with hardly any tariffs or quotas.
- The EU wants the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice to continue ruling on any disputes between the bloc and the UK while British negotiators insist meddling by European judges in the country’s affairs must end.
- EU chiefs have also been pressing the UK to accept the bloc’s state aid rules, restricting the Government’s ability to support private companies. Diplomats have detected a softening of the EU’s stance on the issue in recent weeks as negotiators hunt for a way to break the deadlock.