Trade deal still some way off, say both camps – BBC
- The UK and the EU have admitted they still remain some way off reaching a post-Brexit trade agreement.
- The UK has said there are still “considerable gaps” in the most difficult areas.
- Mr Barnier said both sides were still “far away” from concluding a deal.
- The two sides are due to meet informally in London next week, with another round of official talks scheduled for mid-August.
- The EU negotiators said there was no chance of a deal being reached unless the UK changed its stance towards topics which are “at the heart” of the EU’s interests.
- Barnier said that the UK’s refusal to commit to fair and balanced agreements on fisheries makes an agreement, at this stage, “unlikely”.
- It is thought an agreement will be needed by the end of October in order to ratify it before the end of December.
- The UK’s chief negotiator, David Frost, said the rules on the level playing field provisions remained the most challenging topics.
- The UK feel the EU’s offers are not enough to break the deadlock and still do not go far enough to address Britain’s concerns.