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U.Ok., EU make last-ditch effort to strike post-Brexit pact

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The U.Ok. and European Union (EU) are holding crunch talks on December 6 to give one final push to attempt to thrash out a post-Brexit commerce settlement earlier than the top of the transition interval on December 31.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke on the phone on December 5 to attempt to discover a means out of a stalemate that has lasted months, ending within the chief negotiators on each side concluding the most recent spherical of talks with out reaching a breakthrough.

There are lingering divergences on key areas of EU fishing rights in U.Ok. waters and governance issues after Britain ceases to be a member of the financial bloc from January 1, 2021.

“In a phone call on the ongoing negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom, we welcomed the fact that progress has been achieved in many areas. Nevertheless, significant differences remain on three critical issues: level playing field, governance and fisheries. Both sides underlined that no agreement is feasible if these issues are not resolved,” learn a joint assertion issued by Mr. Johnson and Ms. von Der Leyen.

“Whilst recognising the seriousness of these differences, we agreed that a further effort should be undertaken by our negotiating teams to assess whether they can be resolved. We are therefore instructing our chief negotiators to reconvene tomorrow [Sunday] in Brussels. We will speak again on Monday evening,” they mentioned.

Lord David Frost, the U.Ok.’s Brexit negotiator, and his crew travelled again to Brussels to resume a ultimate set of talks with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and his crew to attempt to discover a means by way of the numerous variations that stay within the path to a deal.

The key focus is over entry to U.Ok. waters by the EU’s fishing fleets. According to studies, France is main the cost on this space and demanding rights for at the least 10 years — a requirement the U.Ok. is unwilling to give in to, claiming it fails to meet its take again management standards for leaving the bloc. Other hindrances embrace what measures there must be to guarantee a “level playing field” for companies on each side of the English Channel and the position of the European Court of Justice.

If a deal shouldn’t be reached earlier than the December-end deadline, border checks and taxes shall be launched for items travelling between the U.Ok. and the EU. It would have a far-reaching impression on the best way enterprise and commerce is performed in Europe after the U.Ok. voted in favour of Brexit in a June 2016 referendum.

‘The Sunday Times’ highlights the plight of animals in London Zoo, whose journey to neighbouring EU international locations for species-protecting mating has to be expedited to guarantee they don’t get caught in transit. Three Asiatic lioness sisters, Rubi, Heidi and Indi, are heading for a brand new house in Germany to discover a new mate after that they had failed to breed in London with Bhanu, the resident male.

“We’d all rather hoped that some magic would happen, but unfortunately the laws of attraction are not always that straightforward,” mentioned London Zoo CEO Kathryn England.

“It is important that the magic does happen because the Asiatic lion is limited to a very small part in the wild in the Gir national park in India. The breeding of this population is critical,” she mentioned.

The lionesses will set off on December 21 for his or her new house at Schwerin Zoo, the place Heidi and Indi, each 9, shall be inspired to mate with a male anticipated to be introduced from France. There are not any plans for Rubi, 11. Bhanu, in the meantime, shall be joined every week later in London by a brand new feminine, Arya, from Paignton Zoo in Devon, south-west England.

According to the newspaper, the necessity to journey earlier than the top of the yr has imposed appreciable pressure on London Zoo, which is concerned in breeding programmes for about 160 species that transfer between places.

Tim Schikora, director of Schwerin Zoo, mentioned he had supposed to welcome the lionesses simply earlier than the opening of a brand new enclosure to the general public in March, however Brexit had pressured a change of plan.

“We have to act now or else we could have a problem afterwards, he said.

At present, animals can be moved easily between zoos within the EU, but arrivals from beyond generally have to spend six months in quarantine before leaving and a further 30 days on arrival. Some non-member-state countries such as Norway have agreements in place to avert this hurdle.

“The problem with Britain is that nobody knows what the rules will be,” mentioned Mr. Schikora.

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