Talks between the EU and the UK are under way to reach a post-Brexit free trade agreement before the end of the year. The issue of bringing legislation closer together is that the EU believes that the UK complies with EU rules (product safety, environmental protection, workers` rights, subsidies, etc.). The United Kingdom says it will not do so.  The withdrawal agreement recognises that in Britain the standards will be different from those of the EU in many respects (with the loss of trade privileges in these areas), with Northern Ireland enjoying special status to keep the Irish border open. Updated because the EU has informed countries with which it has trade agreements that EU trade agreements can continue to apply to the UK during the transition period. In April, commentators began to question the feasibility of the UK`s timetable, amid concern among the United Kingdom and Member States about the rapidly worsening coronavirus emergency. Amanda Sloat, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said: “In any circumstances, it is very difficult to imagine how some kind of large-scale trade agreement between the UK and the EU will be concluded by the end of the year.”  Preliminary negotiations resumed on 15 April, with negotiations limited to the gradual opening of new negotiations until the end of June 2020.  (The deadline for concluding negotiations is June 30, 2020).  The next day, British negotiator Frost reaffirmed his government`s position that the end date will not be changed: some new agreements will not be in force until the UK leaves the EU. Trade will then take place under the terms of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The UK has left the EU, but its trade relations remain unchanged until the end of the year. That`s because it`s in an 11-month transition – designed to give both sides some time to negotiate a new trade deal. 1) Source of trade statistics: ONS UK Total trade: all countries, not seasonally adjusted from April to June 2020.
Meanwhile, the ninth round of negotiations (which began at the end of September) ended on 2 October with no significant progress.