Britain last night blamed Brussels negotiators for a lack of progress after another largely uneventful round of post-Brexit trade talks with the EU’s chief negotiator, Frenchman Michel Barnier, blaming the impasse primarily on fishing rights and rule of competition.
“Those who were hoping for negotiations to move swiftly forward this week will have been disappointed,” Barnier said to reporters in the wake of the week’s talks.
“And, unfortunately, I too am frankly disappointed and concerned and surprised as well,” Barnier added whilst his opposite number from the UK David Frost hit back at unrealistic EU demands for access to British fisheries being a prerequisite to talks in other areas as making it “unnecessarily difficult to make progress”.
Whilst the UK is looking to secure a deal with their long time friends across the channel, Frost added that “(It) is clear that it will not be easy to achieve” before the deadline.
“At this stage an agreement between the UK and European Union seems unlikely. I simply do not understand why we are wasting valuable time,” Barnier countered without referencing EU demands many analysts see as unrealistic.
Great Britain has been free of what the majority of the UK saw as overbearing EU regulations and interference in domestic policy since January, and has thereafter been working to agree a deal on the finer points of their future relationship with the EU by December 31.
Brussels meanwhile wants the agreement in place by October, with the fallback to no-deal being World Trade Organization standards coming into place which, it is believed, could mean higher trade tariffs – an outcome the EU is desperate to avoid whilst at the same time nor permitting its member nations to talk directly to British authorities to avoid such.
Follow up talks are scheduled to be held in London on September 7th before moving back to Europe in mid-October.