Furious EU claims UK offered Japan BETTER deal – but anger has 'unlocked' Brexit talks

3 min


100
14 shares, 100 points

By

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss signed a free trade agreement with Japan worth £15.2bn, hailing it as the dawn of a new era of free trade. The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa) was agreed in principle last month.

{%=o.title%}

]]>

But at a signing ceremony in Tokyo, Ms Truss told reporters: “How fitting it is to be in the Land of the Rising Sun to welcome in the dawn of a new era of free trade.”

It is understood once EU officials were made aware of the “new baseline” set by the UK-Japanese deal which included level playing field guarantees – a major hurdle in the UK-EU talks so far – they confronted Britain and talks restarted.

Talks between the UK and EU are continuing through the weekend and EU sources say the new baseline for talks had to be the Japan offer.

One diplomat said the UK deal was “copy-pasted from the EU’s trade deal with Tokyo”.

 

Furious EU claims UK offered Japan BETTER deal – but anger has 'unlocked' Brexit talks

Japan’s trade deal could boost hopes of an EU deal (Image: Getty)

Furious EU claims UK offered Japan BETTER deal – but anger has 'unlocked' Brexit talks

Michel Barnier is having talks with David Frost this weekend (Image: Getty)

They added to the Telegraph: “The British acceptance of the new baseline unlocked discussions on the issue and pointed the direction of travel for the later talks.”

The main obstacles to a deal remain fishing rights, the so-called “level playing field” rules to ensure fair competition and the governance arrangements for any agreement.

On Wednesday, a day before talks resumed, the EU’s negotiator Michel Barnier said: “They’re willing to do things in a different way to what exists in current trade deals among other countries.”

Talks between Michel Barnier and David Frost resumed on Thursday after Boris Johnson last week called a temporary halt, accusing Brussels of refusing to compromise over the remaining differences.

READ MORE: EU chaos: Macron set for humiliating fisheries U-turn on Brexit

Furious EU claims UK offered Japan BETTER deal – but anger has 'unlocked' Brexit talks

Many EU nations rely on UK fishing waters (Image: Express)

Downing Street said the two sides – led by the EU’s Michel Barnier and his UK counterpart Lord Frost – were now in “intensive talks” which would carry on through to Sunday.

A Number 10 spokesman, added: “Intensive talks are continuing and they will continue over the weekend until the 25th.

“We’ve published a set of principles for handling these intensified talks and they will continue over the weekend.”

Time is, however, running short if they are to get an agreement in place before the current Brexit transition period comes to an end at the end of the year.

DON’T MISS: 
Drivers need a car insurance Green card within weeks [REVEAL] 
‘Rip it up!’ Boris Johnson MUST dump EU deal to save Brexit – MEP [LATEST] 
Brexiteer reveals why EU has refused to give Canada-style deal to UK [INSIGHT]

Furious EU claims UK offered Japan BETTER deal – but anger has 'unlocked' Brexit talks

Boris Johnson previously said EU talks were over (Image: Getty )

In an early indication of movement on fisheries from London, Britain last month offered a transition period from 2021 to increase its catch gradually rather than overnight.

But French President Emmanuel Macron said France accepted the need for compromise but vowed to never sell out his fishermen at last week’s EU summit.

He rejected the UK’s demand for annual negotiations on fish quotas in British waters, saying it damages EU industry.

Another EU diplomat said: “Macron holds the key. If France climbs down, we can get a deal.”

Furious EU claims UK offered Japan BETTER deal – but anger has 'unlocked' Brexit talks

Fishing remains a sticking point for President Macron (Image: Getty)

“The two can only be solved together, if at all.”

Another diplomat said EU Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, this week “wasn’t worried about anything else but fish”.

He added: “Macron has to fight not to have the fishermen on the streets.

“That’s why the French are publicly still in full throttle.”

 


Like it? Share with your friends!

100
14 shares, 100 points

What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
2
hate
confused confused
14
confused
fail fail
8
fail
fun fun
6
fun
geeky geeky
4
geeky
love love
18
love
lol lol
20
lol
omg omg
14
omg
win win
8
win

Read exclusive latest news on entertainment, music, gaming and more topics with unprecedented coverage from around the UK and US.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.