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Prospect of Brexit trade deal breakthrough ‘receding’ as UK accuses EU of making fresh demands at 11th hour

Talks on a post-Brexit trade deal have suffered a blow, with the UK accusing the European Union of making fresh demands at the 11th hour.

Hopes of an imminent deal appear to be fading after Thursday’s negotiations in London between the teams led by Lord Frost and the EU’s Michel Barnier.

A senior UK Government source said: “At the 11th hour, the EU is bringing new elements into the negotiation. A breakthrough is still possible in the next few days but that prospect is receding.”

The UK’s current trading arrangements with the bloc expire at the end of the month. This leaves little time to get a deal agreed by negotiators and approved by the EU’s leaders, Westminster and the European Parliament.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson will press ahead with plans allowing ministers to tear up the Brexit divorce deal he has already agreed, despite the current round of UK-EU talks

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Chance of post-Brexit trade deal breakthrough ‘receding’, UK warns

Talks on a post-Brexit trade deal have suffered a blow, with the UK accusing the European Union of making fresh demands at the 11th hour.

The UK’s current trading arrangements with the bloc expire at the end of the month, leaving little time to get a deal agreed by negotiators and approved by the EU’s leaders, Westminster and the European Parliament.

Hopes of an imminent deal appear to be fading after Thursday’s negotiations in London between the teams led by Lord Frost and the EU’s Michel Barnier.

A senior UK Government source said: “At the 11th hour, the EU is bringing new elements into the negotiation.

“A breakthrough is still possible in the next few days but that prospect is receding.”

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson will press ahead with plans allowing ministers to tear up the Brexit divorce deal he has already agreed, despite the current round of UK-EU talks being

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Chances of post-Brexit trade deal with EU ‘receding’, UK warns

3 December 2020, 20:46 | Updated: 3 December 2020, 20:51

Trade talks between the UK and the EU appear to be hanging in the balance
Trade talks between the UK and the EU appear to be hanging in the balance.

Picture:
PA


The chances of reaching a post-Brexit trade deal are “receding” due to fresh demands from the EU “at the eleventh hour”, the UK Government has said.

Hopes of the UK and the European Union reaching a trade agreement by the end of the week were dealt a blow on Thursday after the EU brought “new elements into the negotiation”.

Britain’s current trading arrangement with Europe will expire at the end of the month, giving the two sides little time to agree on a deal and have it ratified by the bloc’s leaders, Westminster and the European Parliament.

A senior UK Government source said on Thursday: “At the 11th hour, the EU is bringing new elements into the negotiation.

“A breakthrough is still possible

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Brexit: MPs to vote on UK Internal Market Bill as trade talks continue

Boris Johnson’s government is set to press ahead with plans that could throw a spanner in the works of post-Brexit trade negotiations. 

The Prime Minister is to pursue plans that will allow ministers to tear up the Brexit divorce deal despite the ongoing UK-EU trade talks being at a critical stage.

Under plans that will kick off on Monday, MPs will be asked to reinstate controversial legislation giving ministers the power to break international law by ignoring provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement relating to Northern Ireland.

If MPs back the move it could undo significant work in the trade discussions, unless an agreement can be reached by then. 

READ MORE: Brexit: EU and UK government post-Brexit deal talks ‘intensify’

The move when first reported sent shockwaves throughout the EU, who have already taken the first steps in legal action over the legislation.

The bill, published on 9 September, has become

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Brexit news live: Latest updates as trade deal talks near ‘very end’

Michel Barnier passes pro-EU demonstrators near ‘make or break’ talks in London

Brexit talks are “at the very end”, Simon Coveney, Ireland’s foreign minister, has said. He told RTE that if a deal cannot be done then the focus will shift very soon to a no deal scenario.

It comes as it was revealed on Thursday that trade talks, described as “make or break”, stretched late into the night in London on Wednesday as negotiators sought to bridge considerable gaps over fishing rights, state aid and governance – the same issues over which talks have stalled since February.

And with Downing Street pledging to push ahead with plans to breach international law amid reports it intends to do so again in a Finance Bill due next week, Ireland’s foreign minister Simon Coveney warned this would be a “a really big mistake” and would be taken by the EU as a

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Controversial Brexit legislation set to return with trade talks on a knife edge

Boris Johnson will press ahead with plans allowing ministers to tear up the Brexit divorce deal despite the current round of UK-EU talks being at a critical stage.



a close up of a flag: The development came as talks on a post-Brexit deal were continuing, led by Lord Frost and the EU’s Michel Barnier (Jonathan Brady/PA)


© Jonathan Brady
The development came as talks on a post-Brexit deal were continuing, led by Lord Frost and the EU’s Michel Barnier (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The Government confirmed it will ask MPs to reinstate controversial legislation giving ministers the power to break international law by ignoring provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement relating to Northern Ireland.

MPs will vote on the UK Internal Market Bill on Monday, potentially throwing talks on a UK-European Union trade deal into crisis unless an agreement can be reached by then.

The EU has already taken the first steps in a legal action over the legislation.

The Government will also introduce the Taxation (Post-Transition Period) Bill, which reportedly includes measures to override parts of the divorce deal struck

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Lawyer Katherine Tai a Congress favorite for Biden trade czar

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As President-elect Joe Biden builds his economic team in the coming days, some influential lawmakers are urging him to choose Katherine Tai, the Democratic trade counsel on the House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee, as U.S. trade representative.

The job, sometimes called the “trade czar,” is expected to be a lynchpin position as Biden pledges to reverse predecessor Donald Trump’s “America First” policies, build jobs at home, and punish Beijing for anti-competitive trade practices.

Tai played a key role in negotiating stronger labor provisions with the Trump administration in the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade deal, and has solid backing in labor and business circles, people familiar with the Biden team’s deliberations say.

A Yale and Harvard-educated Chinese-American who speaks fluent Mandarin and taught university English for two years in Guangzhou, Tai also headed China trade enforcement at the U.S. Trade Representative’s

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China Retains Trade Secret Provision Targeting Foreigners

On October 21, 2020, China’s National People’s Congress released a second draft of the amended criminal law.  Perhaps because of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) increased enforcement of the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) targeting China as a beneficiary, the Chinese draft retains a provision for foreign-related trade secret theft from the first draft. Specifically, Article 219 will have a new paragraph, “For stealing, spying, buying, or illegally providing trade secrets to foreign institutions, organizations, or personnel, it shall be punished with  imprisonment or detention for not more than five years and a fine; if the circumstances are serious, they shall be imprisoned for more than five years with fines.”

China Second Draft

Of interest, the terms of imprisonment are more severe under this clause than for trade secret theft to benefit a domestic entity. For example, under the current law and proposed amendment, the term of imprisonment is

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House trade lawyer emerges as USTR contender

Katherine Tai, the chief trade lawyer for the House Ways and Means Committee, is gaining support from a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Congress to be the next U.S. trade representative, officials with direct knowledge of conversations told POLITICO.



a large body of water with a city in the background: The U.S. Capitol.


© Julio Cortez, File/AP Photo
The U.S. Capitol.

Multiple members of Congress, including members of both parties in the Senate, have suggested Tai as the potential leader of USTR in conversations with the President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, say four officials on Capitol Hill and another veteran trade lawyer.

The lawmakers include progressive Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) who said in a statement that Tai is the “most qualified candidate for the job.”

“She played a critical role in securing real improvements for workers in the [U.S.-Mexico-Canada] agreement last year,” he said. “She is uniquely prepared to tackle issues on China and knows how to partner with our allies to advance

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Brexit: No trade deal if Boris Johnson breaks international law, Ireland warns

Ireland is warning that no post-Brexit trade deal will be struck if the UK pushes on with a plan to break international law.

Tensions have ratcheted up following comments by senior figures in both governments ahead of another crucial week for negotiations.

Ireland’s foreign minister Simon Coveney told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme that should Boris Johnson persist with trying to override parts of the EU divorce deal, then a new treaty on the future relationship will be off the table.

“This is move week,” he said. “We’ve got to make big progress.”

But a senior minister in the UK confirmed that Mr. Johnson will stick to his plan and keep the controversial parts of the draft legislation in place.

Peers have removed the offending bits of the Internal Market Bill, which included giving ministers the power to “disapply” parts of the withdrawal agreement relating to goods moving between

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