Phil Hogan: Brexit trade deal still possible despite 'political gamesmanship'

The former EU Trade Commissioner made the comments at the MacGill summer school as Brexit talks take place today. 
Phil Hogan: Brexit trade deal still possible despite 'political gamesmanship'

Former EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan: "We don't have a lot of time." Picture: Gareth Chaney Collins

Former European Union (EU) Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan said an agreement over Brexit is still possible after "political gamesmanship" by the United Kingdom. 

Trade discussions between Britain and the EU are continuing in London today with negotiators Michel Barnier and his UK counterpart David Frost sitting down for talks. 

Progress has been slow in recent months with the UK and EU failing to reach agreement on long-standing issues like fishing and state-aid competition rules. 

Time is running out now however as the transition period for the UK's exit ends on December 31. 

Michel Barnier has said "every day counts" in the run up to a deal and that “I think we have a huge common responsibility".

Britain's International Trade Secretary Liz Truss however has not ruling out leaving without a trade deal.

"We want to get a good deal with the EU but what we can't do is sign up to something that affects our sovreignty and upsets our ability to set our own rules and regulations," said Ms Truss.

The former EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan thinks this is the last chance for the UK and the Eu to reach an agreement described Britain's recent conduct over the internal market bill introduced to the House of Commons as "political gamesmanship". 

Mr Hogan told the MacGill summer school he thinks there will be an agreement but that there is not a lot of time remaining.  

"I hope that today's discussions which are restarting after the political gamesmanship of the United Kingdom, will start again in earnest today and continue for as long as it takes in order to get an agreement. 

"But we don't have a hell of a lot time, we only have a few weeks," said Mr Hogan. 

He also believes the UK needs to honour its commitments under the withdrawal agreement if there is to be a deal.

Talks had been in limbo after Boris Johnson’s deadline for a deal passed last week, but they resumed on Thursday as Brussels said both sides needed to compromise on trade issues

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