Brexit trade deal hopes on the rise as progress is made on financial services. Meanwhile, Barnier rolls back threat to NI trade and Japan’s new PM welcomes Britain’s interest in joining the CPTPP.

UK ‘confident’ a Brexit trade deal can be done: Hopes of a last minute Brexit trade deal are on the rise after Michael Gove said he was confident of securing a trade deal with the European Union and Michel Barnier also said he was determined to clinch an agreement.

For months now, Brussels have seemed reluctant to engage with the UK’s issues, even issuing threats to GB to NI trade, but it seems things may now be looking up. I find it interesting that as soon as the Internal Market Bill clears the Commons, the EU have begun actively addressing issues in negotiations.

When asked whether the EU is negotiating in good faith, Gove said that there have been some problems in negotiation and that the “EU has found it difficult to see the UK as a sovereign equal”, trying to impose ways of working and rules that are only really appropriate for a country trying to get into the EU. However, he went on to say that in the past two weeks we see movement from this position and he is now more confident.

When asked on arrival in London, before informal talks, if he was optimistic about reaching a deal, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier told Reuters: “I am determined.” Michael Gove also said yesterday that “No-deal is in nobody’s interests.”

Progress made on financial services: On financial services, a subject that has been of much debate over the course of negotiations, Gove seems confident that there would be a free flow of capital and equivalence for UK financial services after Brexit.

Barnier rolls back threat to NI trade: The European Union is not contemplating blocking food supplies to Northern Ireland, a representative of the region’s largest supermarkets has said, despite David Frost confirming this had been explicitly told to him during negotiations. The EU said they needed to know what the UK’s standards and rules would be after the transition period and the UK government confirmed that it would continue to use EU rules for the time being. Gove has indicated progress on this issue and it is being reported that Michel Barnier has now told UK negotiators that it would have no issue getting the “third country listing” that gives it the right to automatically export food to the EU after the transition period.

This comes as Michael Gove told parliament that lorry drivers who did not have the correct paperwork to pass French customs could be stopped prior to entering Dover in order to prevent tailbacks and chaos at the ports. Under the plans, lorries can get an online permit to confirm they have all the correct paperwork before setting off.

UK wants to go further than EU on fur trade: The UK wants to ban trade in fur after Brexit but the industry argues that now is not the time to restrict legitimate trade. Under EU regulations there are restrictions on imports of products from commercial hunts but the Department for Environment, Food and Affairs wants the UK government to go further after the transition period ends and Britain no longer has to follow EU rules.


The World FZO New World Model Online Conference from 15-17 September 2020 was a great success with more than 3000 attendees from 150 countries.

Here is a link to our panel on ’Customs and Border Management under shrinking supply chains’.

Trade adviser, Shanker Singham, had claimed today an implementation period could be used following the end of the transition. This would allow both sides the needed time to implement elements of the Brexit deal.

In response, however, the EU said: “The transition period ends on 31 December. It cannot be extended.” Speaking to the Westminster’s Future Relationship with the European Union Committee, Mr Singham said: “If a political deal is done by even the end of the year, no lawyer in the Commission , or no legal process, is going to get in the way of finding a solution. “The issue is whether a political deal can be done in the time, then there can be implementation periods and specific periods to cover ratification, but no one is going to talk about this right now because we are still in a negotiation.”

In a comment Michael Barnier has rejected any possibility of the UK extending the transition period past the end of the year.