Brexit: European Parliament issues Sunday ultimatum in trade talks

The European Parliament has issued an ultimatum to EU and UK negotiators, saying it will not ratify a deal by the end of the year if it is reached any later than this Sunday.

                                                    <p class="no_name">MEPs and chief EU negotiator <a class="search" href="/topics/topics-7.1213540?article=true&tag_person=Michel+Barnier" rel="nofollow">Michel Barnier</a> have warned that this would mean a short period of “no-deal” terms in which legally tariffs would have to be levied on trade between the EU and UK.</p>
                                                    <p class="no_name">There has been some progress in the talks but the issue of fish is very much unresolved, Mr Barnier told MEPs, The Irish Times understands, warning that there needed to be a deal within days or there would be a period of no-deal.</p>
                                                    <p class="no_name">“We give until Sunday to <a class="search" href="/topics/topics-7.1213540?article=true&tag_person=Boris+Johnson" rel="nofollow">Boris Johnson</a> to make a decision. The uncertainty hanging over citizens and businesses as a result of UK choices becomes intolerable,” said <a class="search" href="/topics/topics-7.1213540?article=true&tag_person=Dacian+Ciolos" rel="nofollow">Dacian Ciolos</a>, the president of Renew Europe, the group in which <a class="search" href="/topics/topics-7.1213540?article=true&tag_organisation=Fianna+F%C3%A1il" rel="nofollow">Fianna Fáil</a> sits.</p>
                                                    <p class="no_name">“Michel Barnier and his team has our full support as we head to the <a href="/news/world/brexit">Brexit</a> moment of truth.”</p>
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                                                                                                                    <p class="no_name">In a joint statement, the heads of the parliament’s political groups said the parliament “stands ready to organise an extraordinary plenary session towards the end of December” to ratify a deal.</p>
                                                    <p class="no_name">However, it would not do so if a deal came any later than Sunday, it warned, insisting that the parliament must have a copy of a provisional text “as soon as possible” to begin scrutinising it.</p>
                                                    <p class="no_name"><a class="search" href="/topics/topics-7.1213540?article=true&tag_person=Manfred+Weber" rel="nofollow">Manfred Weber</a>, the head of the powerful European People’s Party of <a class="search" href="/topics/topics-7.1213540?article=true&tag_organisation=Fine+Gael" rel="nofollow">Fine Gael</a>, reiterated that a deal would only be ratified if it arrived by Sunday.</p>
                                                    <p class="no_name">“After that we cannot reasonably scrutinise the deal before the end of the year. The agreement is too important to rush through parliament,” Mr Weber said.</p>
                                                    <p class="no_name">National governments technically have the power to provisionally apply trade agreements until they are ratified, after a proposal by the <a class="search" href="/topics/topics-7.1213540?article=true&tag_organisation=European+Commission" rel="nofollow">European Commission</a>. </p>

                                                    <p class="no_name">However, the commission has long been warning that the alternative to ratification in December is a temporary period of no deal.</p>
                                                    <p class="no_name">Nevertheless there would be significant pressure to do whatever possible to minimise the economic damage of no-deal terms, making for a potentially fraught political fight within the EU’s institutions.</p>