British and EU negotiators are ongoing talks during the weekend but remained split on Saturday.
The EU parliament has established Sunday as the last deadline for a deal which they’d need to ratify before December 31 if the transition period will perish.
However, on Saturday, French Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune told France Inter radio that the deadline might be extended.
“It’s normal to not say, okay, it is Sunday evening so we will stop, and forfeit everything,” explained Beaune.
“We don’t do that, since what’s at stake are whole industries, such as fishing, these are the conditions of a contest for our businesses in the long run.”
However, there’s no agreement between both sides on fishing rights, contest rules, and also the question of how to apply the bargain, with only 11 days staying until it has to come in to force.
The United Kingdom chief negotiator David Frost came to Brussels on Saturday for its discussions with Michel Barnier, his EU counterpart.
Barnier had clarified this weekend’s discussions as”the moment of truth” with hardly any time remaining negotiations.
UK sources told the British press on Saturday evening the two sides remained far apart.
Ratification before the New Year stays another barrier: European lawmakers say that they should have the conditions of any arrangement before them by late Sunday when they are to organize a particular gathering before the close of the year.
Britain’s parliament should also accept any offer. MPs are now in their Christmas break until January, even though they may be called back 48 hours’ notice to approve an agreement if a person is struck.
If no bargain evolves, Britain and the EU will revert to trading World Trade Organisation (WTO) conditions, which will lead to severe and instantaneous tariffs in many locations.
Participants also forecast long queues of trucks on each side of the English Channel. A-lines of automobiles waiting beyond the English port of Folkestone on Saturday extended for many kilometers.
It was triggered by a temporary surge in demand for products resulting from Christmas and merchants stocking up on products in expectation of a no-deal outcome.