Dominic Raab stays neutral on success (or failure) of Brexit trade deal negotiations

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In the event of a no trade deal outcome the UK would be at a serious disadvantage in terms of its future trading, political and security relationship with the EU

UK foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, has attempted to sit on the fence as negotiations with the European Union (EU) over a post-Brexit trade deal near the end of their final stage.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr program (November 29), Raab admitted the two sides are in the “last leg of negotiations”

He also said the talks are entering the “last major week” and a deal only remained possible if the EU side demonstrated “pragmatism”.

"We ought to be able on both sides to resolve fisheries, if you take the context of the wider economic gains and potential downsides of not having a further deal", Raab told Marr.

In a separate interview with Sky News’ Sophy Ridge, Raab said the UK was prepared to “talk about transitions and things like that” on fishing rights, but the “point of principle” on control would have to be respected.

Raab’s interviews with the UK’s two leading broadcasters unfolded against the backdrop of intense negotiations between UK and EU teams in London.


Apart from fishing rights, the two sides disagree on how closely the UK should adhere to the EU’s social, labor and environmental standards after the transition period.

If the two sides fail to reach an agreement before December 31 (and have their respective parliaments ratify the deal), then they will be forced to trade on World Trade Organization (WTO) terms and conditions.

If the UK and the EU decide to extend the talks they would still be obliged to trade on WTO terms in the interim, which would mean imposing import taxes on goods traded between them.

In addition, the UK would have no access to the EU’s energy market and there would be minimal cooperation at the policing and judicial levels.

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