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Eighth round of Brexit talks to begin in London

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Eighth round of Brexit talks to begin in London

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Photo: REUTERS/Yves Herman/Pool

The eighth round of Brexit talks is set to take place today in London.

The previous iteration of discussions intended to finalise a Brexit deal ended in a deadlock after Brussels and London were unable to reach an agreement on key issues, including fishing rights, competition rules and dispute settlements. The two sides aim to have an agreement in place by the end of the post-Brexit transition period that concludes on December 31.

If no deal is struck, ties between the UK and EU will default to the minimum standards previously set by the World Trade Organization (WTO). This would include higher tariffs and a number of regulatory demands on transnational businesses, such as IT system updates for customs declarations and changes to existing border infrastructure.

Talks are unlikely to progress favourably today. While the deadline for a deal falls in late December, Brussels and London will face the logistical challenge of submitting a proposal for ratification by at least October. Substantively, Brussels’ insistence on a fishing precondition to negotiations has also presented a significant roadblock. While the potentially adverse economic impact of a no-deal scenario on petrol and industrial production will likely motivate negotiators—at least on Brussels’ end—these considerations alone are unlikely to produce a deal.

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