Reuters: EU will allow its negotiator to continue contact with the UK on Brexit

The border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland remains a key issue in the negotiations

The European Union will allow the EU chief negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier, to continue negotiations with the UK on the conditions for the country’s exit in the coming weeks. This was announced by Reuters on Thursday.

“The European Union invites the EU’s chief negotiator to continue negotiations in the coming weeks and calls on the UK to take the necessary steps to make the agreement possible”, –  a fragment of the document quoted by Reuters.

Following the EU summit to be held on 15-16 October, EU leaders were expected to approve a free trade agreement between the EU and the UK, which was to enter into force on 1 January 2021 – after the end of the Brexit transition period. However, the text of the agreement has not yet been prepared and the entire negotiation process between Brussels and London is in fact at an impasse. Both sides are increasingly preparing for the UK’s final exit from the EU without a trade agreement and the transition to trade across the Channel under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules – using quotas and tariffs, which could have a negative impact on their economies.

The main problem in the negotiations remains the issue of the border between the Republic of Ireland, which is a member of the EU and remains part of the community, and Northern Ireland, which is withdrawing from the EU as part of the United Kingdom. The UK’s exit agreement contains a clause that the border should remain open to people, goods and services, but no specific mechanism has been prescribed. As a result, London fears that by implementing the agreement with the EU it will lose economic sovereignty over part of its territory. The distribution of fishing quotas after Brexit remains another problematic issue.

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