Brexit

EU member states are reportedly preparing for the possibility of a Brexit agreement finally being agreed upon within the next few hours, several major international news outlets are reporting.

Reports say that ambassadors in Brussels have been told to make themselves available to meet on Thursday should negotiations succeed, while diplomats representing EU countries have already been analysing around 2,000 pages of legal text that has been agreed.

Due to the UK’s Brexit deadline being just eight days away, the European Parliament is unable to vote for a trade and security agreement with the UK.

Instead, EU states must agree to a “provisional application” of the agreement on 1st January, with MEPs to have their say through a vote later in the month. The process may still take up to a week when considering the need for the treaty to be translated and assessed by 27 EU member state governments.

Several major media outlets are reporting that EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has been in constant contact with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the past 72 hours.

In discussions with EU ambassadors on Tuesday, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier remarked on the progress which had taken place despite rejecting the UK’s latest offer from the Prime Minister’s chief negotiator, David Frost.

Previously, the EU has said it is willing to lose 25 per cent by value of the fish its fleets catch in UK territorial waters, while the UK has proposed the repatriation of 35 per cent, with a reportedly potential difference of €63.8 million.

Mr Barnier added that the UK offer, however, failed to include pelagic fish such as herring and mackerel, translating into a loss of annual income of around €230 million.

Finally, he said there was “political willingness on both sides to get this over the line”.

The EC Commission President has encouraged industrial fishing nations to move closer to the UK offer, with France and Denmark understood to be the most reluctant at making a counterproposal.

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