We’re waiting! UK’s Brexit deal legislation ALREADY written despite EU trade talk quagmire
Brexit: Expert on why fisheries is 'blocking progress' in talks
With just 14 days to go until the end of the transition period, Parliament would have to work at breakneck speed to vote on any trade agreement brokered with Brussels. The UK is now preparing as much as possible for if a deal is agreed so that it can be voted on in the Commons and Lords at pace.
Both Parliament in Westminster and the European Parliament in Brussels must give their consent to a trade deal before it can come into effect.
But yesterday, Jacob Rees-Mogg sent MPs home for the Christmas break, with no current plans for them to sit again until January 4.
He had been expected to announce to the Commons that MPs would be asked to remain in Westminster next week in case a deal was struck, but changed his mind due to the gaps in negotiations.
However, he told the House: “Should a deal be secured, it is the Government’s intention to request a recall in order that Parliament may pass the necessary legislation.
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“Parliament has and continues to do its duty, and has long shown it can act quickly and decisively when needed.
“I’m sure the whole House will agree the country would expect nothing less.”
According to the Huffington Post, a “draft future relationship bill” is already written to help speed up the ratification process as soon as a deal if done.
The 50-page document provides the skeleton for the legislation MPs and Lords would vote on, with just the details of the trade deal needing to be added in.
However, while every preparation is being made to speed up the ratification process should a deal be agreed, last night the UK gave a downbeat assessment of negotiations.
A Downing Street spokesman warned negotiations were in “a serious situation”.
At 7pm last night Prime Minister Boris Johnson phoned European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to discuss progress in trade talks.
While negotiators Lord Frost and Michel Barnier have made progress in some areas in recent days, large gaps still remain on fishing.
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Mr Johnson used last night’s phone call to accuse the EU of being “unreasonable” in its demands for access to UK waters.
Following the call, a Downing Street spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister spoke to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen this evening about the state of play in the UK / EU negotiations.
“The Prime Minister underlined that the negotiations were now in a serious situation. Time was very short and it now looked very likely that agreement would not be reached unless the EU position changed substantially.
“He said that we were making every effort to accommodate reasonable EU requests on the level playing field, but even though the gap had narrowed some fundamental areas remained difficult.
“On fisheries he stressed that the UK could not accept a situation where it was the only sovereign country in the world not to be able to control access to its own waters for an extended period and to be faced with fisheries quotas which hugely disadvantaged its own industry. The EU’s position in this area was simply not reasonable and if there was to be an agreement it needed to shift significantly.
“The Prime Minister repeated that little time was left. He said that, if no agreement could be reached, the UK and the EU would part as friends, with the UK trading with the EU on Australian-style terms.
“The leaders agreed to remain in close contact.”
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