With only 2 weeks to go until the end of the Brexit transition period, there is still no free trade deal between the EU and the UK.
On 1 st January 2021, the Brexit transition period will be over and there will new rules in place for businesses and citizens.
Both the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, had agreed that the deadline for their decisions about the trade deal would be on the 13 th of December, however no agreement has been made and talks continue.
In an interview with the BBC last week, Johnson said ‘the most likely thing now is of course that we have to get ready for WTO terms’, meaning that the government is expecting to go through with a no-deal Brexit . This means that the UK will trade according to the rules set out by the World Trade Organisation. The WTO route will potentially involve higher tariffs and potentially higher prices in the UK shops.
At the heart of the negotiations are three big issues that the two leaders are still trying to resolve:
Fishing – EU wants maximum access to continue operating over UK waters, but the UK want to regain control over this business after 1 st January.
A level playing field – The EU want the UK to abide by their rules for worker’s rights, state aid and environmental regulations but the UK want more independence.
The right to impose penalties should one side break the rules of the deal.
The official deadline for decisions to be made is on 31 st December and the UK hopes to receive news of a free trade deal as promised by Boris Johnson at the beginning of 2020.