The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator has said that “significant divergences” persist in its talks with Britain on their new relationship from 2021.
Britain left the EU in January and is in a standstill transition period with the bloc - remaining in its single market and customs union until year-end - to give the two sides time to forge a new relationship on everything from trade to security.
Negotiations have so far failed to bridge gaps over fisheries and fair competition guarantees, among other issues, and Michel Barnier said after the latest talks in London:
“This week’s discussions confirm that significant divergences remain between the EU and the UK. We will continue working with patience, respect and determination.”
Negotiators meet again in Brussels next week but the bloc’s executive European Commission said there will be changes from 2021 in trade in goods and services, energy and legal cooperation, travel and tourism regardless of whether there is a new deal, or not.