BRUSSELS – Britain and the EU are close to agreeing on reconciling civil security rights for their citizens after Brexit, two diplomatic sources said, one describing last week’s talks on an unreachable trade agreement as “one of the best so far”.
European Union strategists say Brussels is now ready to negotiate until mid-November – rather than cut off talks early next month – to avoid a harmless “disagreement” when Britain’s stalled revolution and the bloc end on December 31.
There was no success in last week’s negotiating round on three highly controversial issues – fishing rights, fair competition guarantees and future dispute resolution – but the prospects for a full agreement look very bright.
“We appear to be very close to the agreement, even if the public disclosure statement could suggest the opposite,” said one of the two sources, both described in detail by the top European Commission, which is negotiating with Britain instead of the 27-nation EU.
Sterling cut loss vs the euro on Tuesday after the report.
Sources have spoken ahead of ongoing talks in London from Wednesday with Britain, which officially left the EU in January after nearly 50 years of membership.
At stake, obviously, is the international trade fair. Investors and businesses are increasingly concerned about secession without an agreement to ensure the continuation of trading without prices or estimates.
Speaking on the occasion this week, a EU official working with Brexit said the talks were “at a critical juncture” and “not too far from the endgame”.
“I still hope and think we can find a deal,” he said, but stressed that the EU and its industry must be prepared for the worst economic crisis.
27 world leaders are expected to meet in Brussels on October 15-16 to assess progress. If they decide to make an agreement, they will authorize the final confidential talks, which make or break the so-called “tunnel”.
So far the EU has said the agreement should be finalized by bilateral negotiators – Michel Barnier and David Frost – by the end of October to allow time for ratification by the European Parliament and other national parliaments in the organization.
The new direction, in mid-November, suggests the busy weeks to come that will shake up the financial markets by 11am.
When asked to comment on an EU resource test on Tuesday, a UK official had no specific comment on the integration of public safety but said in general trade talks: “An agreement is possible but not guaranteed.”
“Now the teams need to work hard to fill the remaining gaps – in the fishing industry, at the level of play and governance. We remain fully committed to reaching an agreement by 15 October. ”
Two EU officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Britain had made acceptable proposals in nine out of 10 areas related to the protection of social security rights for people traveling between EU member states and the United Kingdom.
The proposals, which include occupational hazard benefits and death benefits, were the basis for “easily agreeing” to a shared text linking social security, they said.
These protections could not be compromised by up to five million people, whether they are a retired British citizen in southern France or a German-employed German in London.
However, there was no agreement in the tenth place regarding family benefits. London wants EU citizens to pay extra for more than five years of access to health care for family members, while the EU says it should reimburse the open access you provide.