Can we expect an EU-UK trade deal by the end of the year?
We take note of the EU and UK’s decision not to extend the transition period beyond the end of 2020, while intensifying negotiations in view of an agreement by the end of the year. However, time is short – barely 6 months left!
There are still significant areas of divergence or issues that need to be ironed out in relation to fair competition/level playing field principles, governance, fisheries and implementation of the Protocol preventing the return of a hard border on the island of Ireland. These issues will need to be resolved and clarified as a pre-condition for the agreement.
At this stage, our call is clearly not to add uncertainty to the current crisis. We need to know as soon as possible how we will continue trading with the UK on a daily basis. We need full operational clarity regarding tariffs, rules of origin, excise tax rules, customs rules and processes, regulatory rules as well as labelling and GIs protection.
We trust the EU and the UK will do their utmost best to conclude an ambitious and comprehensive agreement in time to allow for its ratification and entry into force by 1 January 2021. We will continue to press for the best possible agreement for the sector (our key asks are available here).