By Tony Winterburn • 04 December 2020 • 6:55
UK-EU trade talks resume- ‘breakthrough still possible’.
Britain and the EU will resume talks on a post-Brexit trade deal on Friday, December 4, this is despite a senior UK government source saying the prospect of a breakthrough is “receding”. Sources suggested Brussels had hardened its stance on how common rules and regulations should be enforced with time running out and that “there were never any surprises or new demands” from their side.
A senior UK government source said that the EU team were “bringing new elements into the negotiation” at the “11th hour” – the source said a breakthrough was “still possible in the next few days but that prospect is receding”.
Both sides are urgently seeking compromises in key areas, including fishing rights and competition rules. An EU source said that talks were “extremely sluggish” around the so-called level playing field for competition rules and standards while another EU insider suggested the UK is “posturing”.
The government is urging businesses to step up preparations for the end of Britain’s transition out of the European Union on December 31st. This week Michael Gove, the cabinet office minister, announced the setting up of a new border operations centre, adding that significant change was coming with or without a trade deal. Yet many companies retorted that uncertainty over the negotiations made proper preparation all but impossible.
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