The seventh formal round of trade talks between UK and EU negotiators concluded on Friday, and the two sides are still a long way off from securing a free trade agreement by the agreed autumn deadline. Economists have expressed growing fears that the UK is heading for a severe economic shock as a result of leaving the Brexit transition period without a trade deal.
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier yesterday said he was “disappointed” and “concerned” by the lack of progress in talks. He also said he was surprised by what he described as a UK refusal to move forward on key issues.
“Too often this week it felt as if we were going backwards more than forwards,” Barnier said.
UK negotiator David Frost said there had been little progress in the talks, claiming that while an agreement was still possible, it seems to be clear that it will not be easy to achieve.
According to an article on businessinsider.nl¸ the two sides keep disagreeing over the rights of European fishing boats after Brexit and the EU’s insistence that the UK signs up to ‘level playing field’ rules to prevent British businesses undercutting those in Europe.
The two negotiating teams will next meet for formal talks on the week commencing Monday, September 7.