THE UK Brexit trade talks with the European Union continue to be deadlocked as Boris Johnson’s government has a coronavirus pandemic and collapsing economy to deal with, yet is refusing to delay discussions, even for a few months.
The European Union’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said today (May 15) that the third round of talks with Britain on a new partnership was “disappointing.”
“We’re not going to bargain away our values for the benefit of the British economy,” Barnier told a news conference.
He added the EU would not seal a new trade deal with London without level playing field guarantees of fair competition or without a comprehensive agreement on fisheries.
In the absence of an agreement, the UK will trade with the EU with an array of new checks and costs from January next year.
However, Boris Johnson’s government insists that it will not extend the transition period beyond December under any circumstances, even if it means UK trading with EU member states on the harshest terms from 2021.
Despite the pandemic and the chance of the greatest depression to hit the UK economy in close to a century, the continuing deadlock in the talks does not show signs of breaking soon.
David Frost, the UK’s chief negotiator with the EU, on Friday said talks had produced “very little progress towards agreement on the most significant outstanding issues between us.
“The major obstacle to this is the EU’s insistence on including a set of novel and unbalanced proposals on the so-called ‘level playing field’ which would bind this country to EU law or standards, or determine our domestic legal regimes, in a way that is unprecedented in Free Trade Agreements and not envisaged in the Political Declaration,” Frost said.
“As soon as the EU recognises that we will not conclude an agreement on that basis, we will be able to make progress.”
Frost also accused the EU of taking an “ideological approach.”
Yesterday, senior UK cabinet minister and pro-Brexit campaigner, Michael Gove, blasted the EU for not helping to solidify the future rights of British citizens living on the continent.
Gove said that the UK had done far more on that issue than the EU member countries.