Negotiations are due to continue next week, before a next round of talks starting August 17.
After three days of talks in London, EU negotiator Michel Barnier ruled on Thursday “unlikely” in the state to reach an agreement, during a press conference. Discussions are to continue next week, before a next round of negotiations starting on August 17.
Since the UK left the European Union on January 31, after 47 years of a rocky marriage, the two sides have engaged in intense discussions to define the framework for their new relationship and forge a free trade agreement. at the end of the transition period, which ends on December 31.
“Little progress” were carried out on a level playing field and fishing. Before allowing London access to the European market without customs duties or quotas, the 27 absolutely want to avoid the emergence of an unfair competitor at their doors. For its part, the United Kingdom wants to regain control of its fish-bearing waters and limit access to EU fishermen.
However, “despite the difficulties, the progress is real”, argued a senior British official. “When the process ceases to be of use and there is no way to come to an agreement, there is no point in arguing. We are not there.”, said this source close to the negotiations.
In the absence of an agreement before December 31, the British and Europeans would leave each other by applying in their trade the rules of the World Trade Organization and their high customs duties from January 1.
Last week, London unveiled details of its first post-Brexit border management proposals, insisting that they would be implemented regardless of a deal being reached with Brussels. The project foresees a gradual application of the law at the borders during the first six months of 2021.