Government Prepare to Miss EU and US Trade Deal Deadlines

The UK’s future trade deals with the US and the EU are both on the brink as it’s now expected neither will meet their deadlines and be concluded by the end of the year. To be generous there have been a few distractions…

The FT reports the Government has “abandoned hopes” of reaching a deal with the US ahead of the Autumn’s presidential election, with officials blaming the Coronavirus pandemic distraction for slow progress. The deal remains at loggerheads particularly over the question of allowing US agricultural products into the UK. The DfT had hoped to conclude a “fast-track agreement” by late summer…

A coincidence of timing sees The Telegraph also reporting this morning that Britain is “close to abandoning hope of [a] Brexit trade deal” with Europe, having learnt the Government’s working assumption is now that the UK leave on WTO terms. The scope of remaining disagreement seems more wide-ranging than the US-UK deal; with fishing rights, level playing field guarantees, governance and the role of the ECJ all still providing roadblocks. Boris set a deadline of July – just eight days left to turn things around…

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