Another round of negotiations, which ended on 23 July, was again deemed unsuccessful by both sides, with the prospect of “not reaching an agreement” being considered less likely, but not inevitable.  During these meetings, both sides reviewed progress in the negotiations. The International Trade Minister reaffirmed the UK`s priorities in a free trade agreement and both sides reaffirmed their determination to negotiate a comprehensive and ambitious agreement. With regard to the timing of the negotiations, it was agreed that they should continue quickly throughout the fall. DLA Piper`s team of lawyers and government experts in London and Brussels is helping you prepare for Brexit. Our leading Brexit practice has a strong track record in helping our clients prepare and engage. We can audit your contractual agreements to assess their exposure to Brexit and conduct legal, commercial and human impact assessments to identify areas that require action. To date, more than 20 of these existing agreements, covering 50 countries or territories, have been shaken up with the exception of the I.V. and will begin on 1 January 2021. Based on 2018 figures, this represents about 8% of total trade in the UK.
But it is clear that new agreements with some countries will not be ready in time. This was a strategic step that would strengthen the credibility of U.S. negotiators and increase the likelihood of an agreement. However, critics point to a major drawback: the executive quickly gets a blank cheque to make concessions to the other party. This was demonstrated in the 1988 negotiations. The Government is cooperating with stakeholders to inform UK trade policy and negotiations. The issue of bringing legislation closer together is that the EU believes that the UK complies with EU rules (product safety, environmental protection, workers` rights, subsidies, etc.). The United Kingdom says it will not do so.
 The withdrawal agreement recognises that in Britain the standards will be different from those of the EU in many respects (with the loss of trade privileges in these areas), with Northern Ireland enjoying special status to keep the Irish border open. So, with 12 weeks to go, how is the government doing? The UK has signed 20 agreements covering 50 countries or territories.