EU and British negotiators to begin next round of post-Brexit talks

The EU and UK will today begin the next round of formal talks to determine the future of their post-Brexit

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Photo: REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

The EU and UK will today begin the next round of formal talks to determine the future of their post-Brexit trading relationship before the expiration of the current transition period in late December.

The latest round of discussions comes after both sides agreed to intensify negotiations in June, which repeatedly stalled over the notion of establishing level playing field (LPF) arrangements. The EU is concerned that British firms could undercut European markets post-Brexit by skirting bloc-wide standards regarding environmental regulations, labor protections and taxation, thereby cutting down on production costs and amplifying the competitiveness of UK firms.

Europe’s auto industry forms a key point of contention in negotiations, as players like Toyota—whose British plants source roughly 50% of their parts from EU member states and Turkey—now face supply chains rattled by high tariffs.

British negotiators are likely to push back against pricier environmental regulations but remain under pressure to achieve a quick compromise, as a no-deal Brexit would impose World Trade Organization (WTO) auto taxes of 10%. As Nissan and Toyota advocate for tariff exemptions to keep plants in the UK, London may ultimately concede to more stringent environmental regulations.

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