On 2 October the 9th round of negotiations between the UK and the EU concluded. Again, little progress was made, with the main issues around fisheries and level playing field still not showing significant progress towards common ground. However, both David Frost, UK Chief Negotiator, and Michel Barnier, Head of Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom, seem to be more positive on the outcome of this round of negotiations in their statements. A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) may still be possible to be agreed this month, but there is a higher risk for future trade between the UK and the EU to continue under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.
On 3 October, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, issued a joint statement on the importance of finding an agreement for the UK/EU future relationship.
Companies are advised to urgently ramp up their preparations for the changes that will take effect as of 1 January 2021, independent of whether the UK and the EU agree on a FTA or continue to trade under WTO rules. For more information, please visit CTPA Brexit public advice.