(Bloomberg) — Negotiating teams are getting back to work in Brussels on Monday after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen agreed to “go the extra mile” in search of a trade deal.
The European Union’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, told ambassadors from the EU’s 27 member states on Monday that he see a narrow path to a deal — though it will be difficult, and big problems remain.
The pound jumped as much as 1.4% on Monday, putting it on track for its biggest daily gain since October.
- Chief negotiators will hold first meeting of the week late morning
- Negotiators see chance of completing an agreement this week
- Von der Leyen will lunch with French President Emmanuel Macron
|From Bloomberg Opinion|
|“If a Brexit deal gets done, a sterling rebound could prompt global investors to reassess whether the U.K.’s domestic-focused stocks are too cheap,” Chris Hughes writes.|
France’s Le Maire Urges Tough Stance (9:30 a.m.)
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said negotiators are right to stick to a tough line as France has little to lose economically from no deal compared to the U.K.
“The British are the big losers from Brexit,” Le Maire told radio France Info. “Brexit is a madness: a political madness, an economic madness and a historical madness. I regret that my British friends will pay the price for populism, lies, and approximations.”
According to Le Maire, Brexit will knock only 0.1 percentage points off France’s economic output next year. While 150,000 French exporters will take a hit, the government is ready to support them, he said.
The finance minister also slammed the U.K.’s move to run exercises scrambling Royal Navy vessels to prepare to intercept fishing boats in British waters. Le Maire supported President Emmanuel Macron’s tough stance on protecting the French fishing industry, which he said is part of the country’s culture.
|From Bloomberg Intelligence|
|FTSE Set Up for Final Brexit Countdown|
Fisheries Chief: No Deal Likely for Now (8:40 a.m.)
Soeren Gade, a Danish member of the European Parliament and vice-chair of its committee on fisheries, said that he doesn’t expect a trade deal will be struck this year.
“If there was supposed to be an agreement, you would have had it already,” he told Bloomberg Radio’s Caroline Hepker and Roger Hearing. “The world doesn’t stop because there’s no deal, and something will come out of it later, but I don’t think there will be a deal right now.”
He pointed out that 65% of the fish British boats catch in domestic waters are sold to mainland Europe. Without a deal, those products will be subject to tariffs, so a deal will likely be struck at a later date.
Ireland: Level Playing Field, Fishing Still a Problem (8:37 a.m.)
“I’m hopeful, but I don’t want to understate the very significant challenges” remaining, the Irish Prime Minister told RTE radio. Micheal Martin said he still sees a chance of a deal even though the areas of the level playing field and fisheries remain problematic.
“The real end deadline is New Year’s Eve,” Martin said, but he added that “both sides are very possessed of the need to try and get outcomes to these negotiations in the next number of days.”
Barnier and Frost to Meet Later (8:25 a.m.)
Michel Barnier and his British counterpart, David Frost, will hold their first meeting of the week in Brussels late morning, according to an official briefed on their plans.
After speaking to the bloc’s 27 ambassadors first thing, Barnier will discuss the latest on the negotiations with the European Parliament’s Brexit group of lawmakers.
Barnier Tells Ambassadors There’s a Narrow Path to Deal (8:10 a.m.)
Michel Barnier told EU government envoys in Brussels that the last few days of negotiations have brought some limited progress on the enforcement of any deal, while disagreements over state aid remain, according to a senior diplomat present at a private meeting on Monday morning.
The EU’s chief negotiator also said that the U.K has been backtracking on fisheries, according to the diplomat, who asked not to be named discussing the content of a non-public discussion.
U.K. Plans Own Carbon Trading Plan After Brexit (8 a.m.)
The U.K. will start its own carbon market at the beginning of next year to help cut emissions after Brexit.
The move, announced Monday, answers the long-awaited question of whether the government would put a price on carbon or a simple tax. It leaves open the possibility to link the U.K. emissions trading system with the larger European one at some point in the future.
Read more: U.K. to Set Up Its Own Carbon Trading System After Brexit
Businesses Plead for Extra Time (Earlier)
British business groups called on the government to give them more time to prepare for the nation’s departure from the EU after leaders from both sides agreed to continue talks on Sunday.