British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during a meeting. File photo
Gulf Today Report
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen discussed Brexit and the COVID-19 crisis in a phone call on Monday evening, an EU source said Tuesday.
Leaders also spoke on disagreements over fisheries that are barring a new trade deal in a call on Monday, sources said.
EU sources added that the bloc was now willing to accept a reduction in the value of its catch in UK waters of up to 25% over a period of time from 2021.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a press conference. File photo
The length of that, as well as agreeing how the bloc could retaliate should Britain cut its industry off afterwards were still the sticking points in trade talks just nine days before Britain leaves the bloc's single market and customs union, meaning current trading rules will no longer apply.
The previously undisclosed conversation came as London and Brussels try to thrash out a last-gasp post-Brexit trade deal and scramble to respond to a mutant variant of the coronavirus detected in the UK.European and other countries have also suspended most of travel from Britain since the weekend to try to curb a new faster spreading strain of the coronavirus.
Johnson, who officially took over from Theresa May on Wednesday and swiftly sacked most of her ministerial team, held the first meeting of his new cabinet of ministers on Thursday.
European partners on Friday warned Boris Johnson that his hardline Brexit stance was putting the UK on a “collision course” with the European Union (EU) and called on the new British premier to avoid “provocations.”
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Monday that the European Union had not received from Britain any alternatives to the so-called backstop provision in the Brexit divorce deal.
Tens of thousands of protesters marched in support of Palestinians on Saturday in major European cities including London, Berlin, Madrid and Paris.
The big winner was from Egypt, Asmaa Al Awani, who won the grand prize, a brand-new BMW car, while 5 shoppers won shopping worth Dhs5,000, 10 winners won Dhs2,500 shopping vouchers, and 10 lucky shoppers won a cash prize worth Dhs1,000 for each.
Cases have fallen steadily in some Indian states hit by an initial surge in infections, such as the richest state of Maharashtra and the capital New Delhi, after they imposed stringent lockdowns. Testing rates also at their lowest since Sunday.
The NCOC late last month announced a new set of restrictions including a blanket ban on tourism and inter-provincial transport in an attempt to contain a further rise in already mounting coronavirus cases under the "Stay Home, Stay Safe” strategy.