The Weekend long-read from Connely. A good summary though there are some gaps despite the long text – and that I am a bit more optimistic.

As we hurtle towards 31 December the scramble for a deal is forcing both sides to get creative in the hope that they do not need to get desperate.

The EU and UK are attempting to conclude perhaps the most important treaty they will sign this century; creativity and law are not always the best of bedfellows and there may only be so much that can be done under the covers.

Both sides are still miles apart on the big issues: the level playing field, governance and fisheries.

Read it here: Final throes of Brexit legal fixes and hardball tactics

Source: RTE

The value of Irish goods exports has risen by 8 per cent to €122 billion so far this year.

The strong performance, detailed in the latest trade figures, was driven by exports of medical and pharmaceutical products, which have surged as a result of the pandemic.

The Central Statistics Office figures show the value of goods exports for the nine-month period from January to September was €122.36 billion, an increase of €8.6 billion (8 per cent) on the same period last year.

Exports for the month of September fell by 5 per cent to €13.7 billion while imports fell by 8 per cent to €6.2 billion.

This resulted in a seasonally adjusted trade surplus to €7.5 billion million in September.

Source: TheIrishTimes

The U.K. and Canada are on the brink of signing a new trade agreement to replace the existing deal Britain has through European Union membership.

The agreement would be a major boost to U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson in his efforts to plot a new course for Britain as a global trading nation outside the EU. An announcement is expected within days, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition they not be identified.

Without it, the U.K. and Canada would face tariffs on trade from Jan. 1, when the Brexit transition period ends and the U.K. will no longer be part of CETA, the EU-Canada trade agreement that came into force in 2017. Trade between Canada and the U.K. was worth about 17 billion pounds ($23 billion) in 2019.

“Trade talks are at an advanced stage and progressing well,” the U.K.’s Department for International Trade said in a statement. “The U.K. is committed to seeking to secure a continuity trade deal with Canada before the end of the transition period.”

The Canada breakthrough would be a relief for the U.K. as it continues contentious talks with the EU, its largest trading partner, over their own future economic relationship. Those discussions could bear fruit as early as next week, but the negotiations could still collapse.

The U.K. is Canada’s third-largest export market after the U.S. and China. In the first nine months of this year, Canada has exported C$14 billion ($10.7 billion) in merchandise exports to the U.K., while it imported C$6.9 billion.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week said the two countries could wrap up negotiations on a new trade deal by Jan. 1.

“I know that rolling over and demonstrating free trade deals is important for the U.K. government. Canada is a really easy one. We’re there for it. We’d like to do it, so I am very hopeful that it’s going to get done but that’s up to the U.K. government,” Trudeau said last week during an online event hosted by the Financial Times.

Source: Bloomberg/Joe Mayes