If Britain and the EU are to make further progress in post-Brexit talks, Brussels must show “more realism,” while respecting the UK’s stance as a sovereign state, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday.
There has been some progress in recent days, the spokesman said, but much work remains to be done in a short time.
“So, if we are to make further progress in the coming days, we need to see more realism from the EU on what it means for the UK to be an independent state,” he stressed.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said on Monday that “if there is not a major breakthrough over the next week to 10 days, then I think we really are in trouble and the focus will shift to preparing for a no-trade deal.” The negotiations are “not in a good place” on fishing rights, he explained.
The level of access to Britain’s waters for EU fishing boats, fair competition rules for business, domestic subsidies, and the mechanism for resolving future disputes are still among most important sticking points in the talks.
As time runs out for a Brexit trade deal, PM Boris Johnson is self-isolating after a contact with an MP who later tested positive for Covid, and his most powerful Brexit adviser and campaigner, Dominic Cummings, left the government on Friday.
The UK’s chief Brexit negotiator, David Frost, tweeted on Sunday that London and Brussels will work to “get an overall agreement if we can… But we may not succeed.”
The two sides have never set a fixed deadline for an agreement to be reached, France’s Minister for EU Affairs, Clément Beaune, said on Friday. “But objectively, rationally, if it happens after the end of November, we will be in trouble.” The minister still believes the deal is possible because both parties “want one.”
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