2 October 2020: Conclusion of the ninth Brexit negotiating round
On 2 October 2020, the EU and UK concluded their ninth round of negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship.The negotiations had been held between 29 September and 2 October.
The European Commission (charged by the EU with negotiating the agreement with the UK) issued a press release saying that there had been positive new developments on aviation safety, respect for fundamental rights and social security co-ordination. However, there was a lack of progress on climate change commitments, carbon pricing and the protection of personal data. Moreover, the Commission said that there was a need for an agreement on the level playing field (in particular, State aid and a commitment by the UK towards non-regression from climate, environmental, social and taxation standards). The Commission has also said that there is a need for an efficient governance framework, based on a comprehensive agreement, with robust enforcement and dispute settlement mechanisms, and effective remedies. The Commission also highlighted that there is a need for an agreement on fisheries.
The UK Government stated that progress had been made on (a) the law enforcement agreement as well as (b) the structure of the overall partnership. However, the UK Government admitted that there were differences on (a) the "level playing field" and (b) fisheries.
The good news is that the parties are down to two issues: the level playing field and fisheries. The bad news is that the parties appear to have two different perspectives on what has been achieved. It is still possible for the parties to reach agreement. It may well be that the UK will concede on the level playing field and the EU will concede on fisheries. Objective observers can work out who would get the bigger deal.
For more information on this topic please contact Dr Vincent Power, Partner or any member of A&L Goodbody's EU, Competition & Procurement team.
Date published: 5 October 2020