Asked if this was a weakness she could exploit against Britain, he said with a smile: “The Russian diplomatic service is known for its tough negotiators. We are very proud of that. On 25 January, Brexit Minister Stephen Barclay published a list of bilateral agreements that are almost ready to be signed or about to be concluded. Trade agreements have already been signed with respect to mutual recognition of compliance assessment with Australia and New Zealand, wine trade with Australia and trade in live animals and animal products with New Zealand. Along with the East and South African states, Chile, the Faroe Islands, Switzerland, the Caribbean and the Palestinian Authority, the signing of free trade agreements was about to be signed. The free trade agreement texts have been finalized with Israel, Canada, the Pacific States, SACU, Mozambique, Norway and Iceland. Mutual recognition agreements have also been concluded with the United States. Despite intense discussions that will continue until the weekend of 28 and 29 November, the month ended without a solution on the two main points: fishing rights and the settlement of disputes over state aid. According to ITV News, “progress has been made in many areas, but it is said that significant gaps in EU access to UK fishing waters will remain when the transition period ends on 31 December.”  But there are still good reasons for Johnson and European leaders to spend political capital to conclude a trade deal. The exit of the transition period at the end of the year, with a free trade agreement between the EU and the UK, is always better than a failure of an agreement. A free trade agreement would prevent tariffs on trade in goods between the EU and the UK; increase the chances that the EU will unilaterally treat UK financial services and data systems as equivalent to their own; Increase opportunities for EU and UK customs authorities to cooperate to mitigate the effects of the transition period on the first day and possibly introduce a new implementation period; Create an environment conducive to the successful implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol; and provide a platform for a wider relationship between the EU and the UK in the future. “To do this, EU export volumes to the UK can be expected to decline significantly, resulting in job losses.
The impact on SMEs, farmers and agricultural cooperatives would be particularly damaging,” says the joint statement by Copa-Cogeca, Celcaa Agriculture and Food Trade and the FoodDrinkEurope trade association.