'We cannot go on like this forever' - EU chief negotiator on Brexit talks | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

10 July, Friday


'We cannot go on like this forever' - EU chief negotiator on Brexit talks

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European Union and British negotiators said on Friday they had made very little progress in their latest round of talks about a Brexit free trade agreement, with just weeks left to extend a year-end deadline to reach a deal, EDNews.net reports citing Reuters.

Both sides, however, avoided the vitriol that has sometimes marked years of tortuous Brexit talks. They laid out plans to intensify negotiations and pleaded for a renewed political push when their leaders assess the situation later in June.

Britain left the EU in January. Their relationship is now governed by a transition arrangement that keeps previous rules in place while they negotiate new terms. So far, this has not gone well.

“This week, there have been no significant areas of progress ... We cannot go on like this forever,” EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier told a news conference.

He said the EU and Britain remained far apart on the issues of fair competition guarantees and the governance of their new relationship, as well as fishing rights.

He noted some progress in talks over human rights guarantees that would allow Britain and the EU to go on cooperating in criminal and judicial matters from 2021, but the two sides were still far from agreement.

Britain had a similar message.

“Progress remains limited but our talks have been positive in tone,” Britain’s chief negotiator, David Frost, said. “Negotiations will continue and we remain committed to a successful outcome.”

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