Raab: eu must show pragmatism for brexit trade pact

Raab: eu must show pragmatism for brexit trade pact

In the final phase of the talks on a brexit trade agreement, british minister dominic raab has called on the european union to make concessions.

The community of states must accept that the particularly controversial fishing rules are "a matter of principle" for the brits, raab told sky news.

"If they [the EU] show pragmatism, goodwill and trust, as they have in the last rounds of talks – and we have also shown our flexibility – then I think a deal can be done," raab said. According to raab, the talks are now "going into the last week or so". Time is running out, as a trade pact still had to be ratified.

After a precautionary corona quarantane, EU negotiator michel barnier had resumed negotiations with the uk in person in london on saturday. On the british side, chief negotiator david frost is leading the round. During barnier’s week-long self-isolation the talks had been conducted by video.

Rough confidence did not prevail on the EU side before the round began. "Same significant differences persist," barnier wrote on twitter on friday. Deep ditches remained on the three main points of contention: fair competition conditions, fishing rights and instruments against violation of the future agreement.

Frost tweeted that they would continue to work hard to reach an agreement. But a deal must "fully respect the sovereignty of the united kingdom". Great britain left the EU at the end of january, but will not leave the internal market and the customs union until the end of the year. Tariffs and additional trade barriers loom without a link-up agreement.

"A last-second agreement on a new trade deal must come. Anything else would be a disaster," said the chief executive of the federation of german industry, joachim lang, to the dusseldorf "rheinische post" (saturday). The close economic ties between the countries make a compromise urgently necessary – this is the only way to create planning security.

Pressure is also immense in the uk: the north wales fishing industry exports 90 percent of its products to the eu, the head of the government of wales, mark drakeford, told the german press agency. Without a commercial contract, delivery problems could arise and the goods could spoil. "Delays in the process could mean the end of this industry," drakeford said.

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