Next official round of Brexit talks to begin

The latest session of Brexit negotiations, the ninth since March, is slated to begin today in the Brussels. A key

9th round Brexit talks

Photo: Yves Herman/ AP

The latest session of Brexit negotiations, the ninth since March, is slated to begin today in the Brussels.

A key point of contention for these talks will be clauses 42 to 45 of the Internal Market Bill. Passed by the House of Commons in a September 22 vote, these clauses allow the UK Parliament to modify or disapply regulations on the trade of certain goods between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. Representatives of the EU have expressed dismay, calling the bill “illegal, full stop,” and have given the UK until September 30 to remove the offending clauses.

While the passage of the bill in the House of Commons marks a sharp blow to negotiations and has reportedly damaged trust between the EU and the UK, all hope is not lost. The bill will not be reviewed by the House of Lords until November, so expect UK negotiators to attempt to leverage withdrawal of the bill to secure concessions leading to a free-trade agreement similar to that between the EU and Canada. London has prioritised discussion of fishing in UK waters with Brussels, signalling a willingness to link access to fisheries with the UK’s ability to sell fish on the EU market.

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