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Brexit talks paused after London, Brussels fail to reach agreement

December 05, 2020
Brexit trade talks between the EU and the UK have come to a halt after Brussels and London failed to reach an agreement on Friday, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said. — Courtesy photo
Brexit trade talks between the EU and the UK have come to a halt after Brussels and London failed to reach an agreement on Friday, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said. — Courtesy photo

BRUSSELS — Brexit trade talks between the EU and the UK have come to a halt after Brussels and London failed to reach an agreement on Friday, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said.

Taking to Twitter, Barnier confirmed that after "intense negotiations" in the British capital, he and the UK's chief trade negotiator David Frost had agreed to suspend talks between Britain and the bloc.

"After one week of intense negotiations in London, together with @DavidGHFrost, we agreed today that the conditions for an agreement are not met, due to significant divergences on the level playing field, governance, and fisheries," he wrote.

"We agreed to pause the talks in order to brief our Principals on the state of play of the negotiations. President @vonderleyen and Prime Minister Johnson will discuss the state of play tomorrow afternoon".

This pause in negotiations is the latest in a series of delayed deadlines to reach a deal. Initially, negotiators had set the goal of tying up negotiations by October. When this deadline was missed, it was resolved to finalize a deal by mid-November.

Speaking in Brussels, European Council President Charles Michel noted the previous delays, adding that there was still time for the negotiations to successfully conclude.

"We will see what will happen in the next days," he said. "But the end of December is the end of December and we know that after 31st December, we have 1st January, and we know that we need to have clarity as soon as possible".

Barnier has been in London for intensive talks since the start of the week as negotiations entered a critical phase. It had been hoped that the UK and the EU would finalize an agreement by Friday.

In near-identical posts on Twitter, both Barnier and Frost indicated that there remained "significant divergences" between the two teams. — Euro news


December 05, 2020
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