Brexit: EU leader sees ‘very narrow’ path to agreement
Wednesday, 16 December 2020
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Credit: Belga
There is a path to a post-Brexit trade agreement between the EU and the UK, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told Members of European Parliament on Wednesday.
“The path may be very narrow, but it is there,” von der Leyen said.
“The good news is that we have found a way forward on most issues,” she said, “but this is now a case of us being so close and yet being so far away from each other because two issues still remain outstanding.” Those issues are the level playing field, and fisheries.
On fisheries in particular, “the discussion is still very difficult,” according to von der Leyen.
However, “we must continue to try finding a solution,” she added, calling it “the only responsible and right course of action.”
While the UK left the EU at the end of January, it has remained part of the EU’s single market and customs union as part of a transition phase which will end on 31 December.
EU and UK negotiators have had many rounds of negotiations to try and reach an agreement on a post-Brexit trade deal, but so far, none has been reached.