Barnier: Big differences remain in talks over future EU-UK ties

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David Frost, left, and Michel Brainier after the talks.
David Frost, left, and Michel Brainier after the talks.

BRUSSELS — EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Thursday ended four days of talks with his UK counterpart David Frost without making any progress on a deal on future relations between the EU and the UK.

“Our goal was to get negotiations successfully and quickly on a trajectory to reach an agreement. However, after four days of discussions, serious divergences remain,” Barnier said in a written statement.

The EU’s position remains that there will be no economic partnership with the UK without, robust guarantees for a level playing field to ensure open and fair competition among our businesses, he noted.

Further the EU wants a balanced, sustainable and long-term solution for European fishermen and women, and thirdly an overarching institutional framework and effective dispute settlement mechanisms, he said.

It was also the first time since the lockdown following the coronavirus pandemic that both sides had met in person in Brussels.

“We continue to believe that an agreement is possible and in everyone’s interest,” said Barnier and added that he looks forward to the next round of negotiations in the week of July 20.

“In the meantime, and as agreed, we all continue our discussions in London next week, he said. The talks were scheduled to continue till Friday but ended a day earlier.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s official spokesman told journalists in London: “This round of talks has ended early. They covered all the ground they set out to discuss.” — KUNA


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