Top EU Negotiator Warns That UK is ‘No Closer’ to Trade Deal

MICHEL BARNIER has warned that the EU and UK are ‘no closer’ to a trade deal as the deadline for Brexit comes ever closer.

The top EU negotiator is to meet his UK counterpart David Frost in London this weekend, but talks are expected to be brief. The EU already implied that, unless the UK were willing to make major concessions, they would not bother sending their team across the Channel. Face to face meetings were suspended due to Covid concerns which caused the EU delegation to self-isolate.

Barnier tweeted that ‘In line with Belgian rules, my team and I are no longer in quarantine’. He added that ‘physical negotiations can continue’ while warning that the ‘same significant divergences exist’. Both sides have long grappled over the issues of fishing rights, fair competition laws, and the mechanism for dealing with future breaches of any agreements.

Boris Johnson has not yet decided whether he will take the UK out of the European Union without a trade deal when the transition period, which cannot be extended, ends on December 31st. While the longtime Brexit campaigner will not want to make any unpopular concessions, experts have warned that a no-deal exit could delay Britain’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic by a year. 

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Written by

Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...


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