but little progress shown


The second round of negotiations by the European Commission and the British Government took place from Tuesday 21st April to Thursday 23rd April and closed on Friday with a plenary session and political meeting by chiefs negotiators Michel Barnier (EU) and David Frost (UK).

The talks were planned to be focusing most on three topics, namely Trade in goods, Trade in services and investment and other issues and Level playing field for open and fair competition. These were expected to be discussed every day of talks. Transport (aviation) took place on Tuesday and Wednesday, while Transport (roads) on the very last day of talks, Thursday. Law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters was scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, while Fisheries on Wednesday and Thursday. Talks on Energy were planned on Wednesday and Thursday, Mobility and social security coordination on Thursday, and other topics, e.g. Participation (of UK) in Union programmes, were planned to be discussed throughout the entire week.

However, some topics were not engaged substantially. The EU negotiator Michel Barnier noted that there was lack of attention from the UK side to topics such as social and environmental standards, preventing unfair trade distortions, and unjustified competitive advantages. There is also no agreement on the question of governance and the controversial topic of fisheries is still open as well.

Important deadlines are coming up quickly, as a possible extension of the transition period needs to be decided by 30 June. Despite the fact that the UK side confirmed that there are not going to be any extensions, observers generally agree that the negotiations are not proceeding as expected.

The next round of negotiations is planned for the week of 11 May 2020, while the crucial round will take place on the week of 1 June 2020.

Business operators value legal certainty as soon as possible. CEMA is calling for zero tariffs / zero quotas trade agreement and regulatory dynamic alignment for agricultural machinery.

For our latest CEMA position paper CLICK HERE