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David Frost will meet with the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier for a continental breakfast this morning to round off the latest round of negotiations, where he is expected to tell the EU he wants a deal done by September. More than four years after Britons voted to unshackle itself from the EU, and after tortuous divorce talks, the two sides are negotiating on all aspects of their future ties, from trade to security to transport, from 2021 onwards.
But differences over fishing quotas and guarantees of fair competition have so far stood in the way of a deal.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has refused to be bound by EU state aid rules, environmental standards or labour laws, saying the essence of Brexit was to let Britain decide alone on its own regulations.
It comes after the EU earlier this week mocked the UK saying the nation “desperately needs this deal” ahead of the transition period which expires at the end of this year.
An EU source told politics news site, Politco.eu: “If the clock is ticking, reality will start to sink in in London.
“The UK might not always have behaved rationally in its negotiations with Brussels, but surely the pandemic and the lack of trade alternatives must lead to some reason in London.”
Meanwhile, The Times reported Britain had tabled a draft-trade agreement with the EU during a dinner earlier this week, which has been deemed “desperate” by Brussels.
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7.33am update: Michel Barnier to give update
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator is expected to deliver a press statement on this week’s talks at 10am this morning. David Frost will also make a statement at some point this morning.
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