Brexit trade talks suspended because of COVID-19 case
Nov 20 2020
The Canada deal would be the second major trade accord announced by Britain in less than a month, after it agreed to terms with Japan in late October.
Outlining the state of play this morning on #Brexit - Big week ahead, time is running out as we attempt to find common ground with #UK on a trade deal. Officials also aim to resume operations at the visitor centre.Wolszczan, the astronomer, said the value of the telescope won't instantly disappear for him and many other scientists because they are still working on projects based on observations and data taken from the observatory."The process of saying goodbye to Arecibo will certainly take some years", he said.
British Trade Minister Liz Truss earlier said the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson was determined to reach a trade deal with Canada before the end of the year.
"We will work to build on these and get an overall agreement if we can".
"Even if we do get that good FTA (Free Trade Agreement) with zero quotas and zero tariffs, there are still going to be new costs", he went on, adding that uncertainty over extra checks, charges and red tape threatened shipments of some food products in particular. In its 57 years of operation, it endured hurricanes, endless humidity and a recent string of strong earthquakes.The telescope boasts a 1,000-foot-wide (305-meter-wide) dish featured in the Jodie Foster film "Contact" and the James Bond movie "GoldenEye".
Almost five years since the Brexit referendum campaign began, Britain and the European Union have still not worked out how nearly $1 billion in trade per year will operate once Britain leaves a status quo transition arrangement on 31 December.
"Although many officials believe this week is critical, we aren't expecting a breakthrough", said Mujtaba Rahman, managing director for the Eurasia Group risk consultancy.
The spokesman said: "Significant issues remain, particularly on the so-called level playing field and fisheries".
The mid-October deadline appeared to be scratched at the start of that month, when Downing Street and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen agreed to intensify talks during a video conference call, acknowledging "significant gaps remained" between the United Kingdom and Brussels.
The comments by Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU's top trade official, dampened hopes that a deal could be approved when the European Union leaders meet in a video conference on Thursday. Whatever the initial problems, the Prime Minister still knows that "no deal is better than a bad deal".
News that the deal could be imminent was first reported by the Bloomberg news agency.
Robin Walker, the junior minister for Northern Ireland, told parliament further details should be announced shortly on support for agrifood producers, who will face checks and paperwork demands to send goods to the province from January 1.
"I think I would sum it up by saying this is very hard, but, it's also very doable".