LONDON / BRUSSELS – British Prime Minister Michael Gove said on Thursday that any agreement on trade after Brexit with the European Union would require Parliament’s approval before December 31, and set a 50% chance of success.
His reduction tone was in stark contrast to the EU spokesman’s high-profile remarks, as both sides try to prevent a turbulent conclusion in four years of aggressive negotiations over a two-week period.
The rising hope that the deal was close to keeping the goods trade forming half of the EU-UK’s annual trade, which could cost about $ 1 billion in total, is tax-free and higher than December 31.
Britain’s interior minister, Priti Patel, said the talks had entered a “tunnel” – the EU’s final, secretive and secretive negotiations, and EU chief negotiating officer Michel Barnier tweeted: “There is good progress, but the last hurdles remain.”
Gove, who presided over the previous divorce agreement, told a parliamentary committee: “I think it’s sadly unlikely that we will not get an agreement.”
Asked about the chances of the deal, he said: “Less than 50%.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the face of the 2016 Brexit referendum campaign, has long said he would not accept a deal that failed to honor the British monarchy after winning last year’s election with a “return to power” pledge.
Gove said some of the remaining differences go “to the heart of the (government) authority”.
An EU official who declined to be named said the dispute over fishing had not been resolved. Two EU strategists and a regional official said they did not expect the agreement to be met on Friday.
Most of the time has been missed in negotiations since Britain left the blog in January.
The European Parliament has said it could hold an emergency meeting in late December if the agreement is reached on Monday.
If it comes later, however, EU strategists say the summit may still be in place from January 1 without the consent of lawyers.