Brexit: Trade talks yield little progress as EU, UK dig heels in

Last Modified Friday, 15 May 2020 (18:13 IST)
The was "refusing to engage in full conversation," the EU's chief negotiator has said at the end of what Michel Barnier described as a "disappointing" third round of talks
The EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, on Friday said the UK had not engaged in a "real conversation" on establishing a level playing field for trade and economic relations.
"On the governance of our future relations, the few useful discussions we had bore out only on sectoral issues, not a single framework of governance," Barnier said. "We were disappointed with the lack of ambition on the UK side."
 
The and UK's top negotiators have been in talks for a new trade relationship slated to go into effect January 1, 2021. However, without a deal in place, the UK would crash out of the EU's regulatory framework amounting to what many have described as a "hard Brexit."
 
Sticking points remain on how each side view the trade relationship with the Europeans opting for closer cooperation while the British want favorable trade without strings attached. The deadlock continues over concerns of fair competition, access to fisheries and oversight from the European Court of Justice.
 
The EU has pushed for an agreement to be finalized by October in order to give the bloc's remaining 27 member states ample time to ratify the accord.
 
Experts believe a lean trade deal could be put in place to avert chaos, with additional phases allowed for negotiations on more contentious areas. Such a deal would effectively keep the UK partly within the EU's regulatory framework until a more extensive accord is reached.