Blog: Squids in: is an October deal on the cards?

Businesses and experts are growing increasingly uneasy about the lack of progress in the UK-EU negotiations. But is October the new June?  Ros Taylor and Roch Dunin-Wąsowicz (LSE) round up the week’s Brexit news.

The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said the new “moment of truth” for a post-Brexit deal will be in October, when the EU27 will hold a summit to approve the draft of the comprehensive free trade deal and security cooperation agreement.

Importantly, there are signs of rapprochement on the crucial level playing field issue. The FT reports Barnier’s offer:

“We are ready to work on operational and clever compromise but not at the price, never at the price, of any unravelling of the single market. Never.”

Barnier is not the only one still awaiting a gesture of goodwill from the UK. The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, said this week: “Together, we are very worried because we don’t see great enthusiasm from the British authorities and we don’t see a strong will to get to an agreement that satisfies all parties… Obviously as an agreement, it has to satisfy both parties…” Yet Boris Johnson told Emmanuel Macron last week he hoped the talks could be wrapped up by July.

Mujtaba Rahman believes the momentum is now behind a deal – if only because no-deal disruption would be a boost for the reinvigorated Opposition:

Meanwhile, squid are the latest sticking-point in fish-related negotiations. The UK is keen to ensure market access for Falklands squid. Apparently half the calamari eaten in southern Europe comes from the islands.

New analysis finds that COVID-19 has had a huge negative impact on the UK economy and Brexit will present another profound challenge for UK businesses.  Indeed, sectors that have suffered less during the lockdown are the ones that are exposed to bigger negative impacts from Brexit, write Josh De Lyon and Swati Dhingra.

What of Erasmus, which turned 33 this week? POLITICO (subscriber-only) says the UK is drawing up an alternative scheme.

On LSE Brexit

In a no-deal scenario, the UK would likely face shortages of fruit and vegetables in a food chain already disrupted by COVID-19:

Know your onions: how a no-deal Brexit is likely to affect the UK’s fresh produce supply

Do black lives matter for UK aid?

We used to think that Brexit had no copycats in the EU. Yet some counties (Austria, Holland, Denmark, and Sweden) have similar criticisms of the EU similar to the ones Britain had, which are driven by fundamentally different views on further European integration, argues Pepijn Bergsen (Chatham House):

The Frugal Four exhibit a British attitude to European integration

Finally, this week marks four years since the Brexit vote – and apparently today 56.8% of respondents in the UK would have voted to remain in the EU…

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