The latest round of Brexit talks are due to take place this week, ahead of a summit next month. These talks will be held via video link on Friday.
In the last round of talks, it was agreed that both sides would need to decide by the end of June whether or not an extension will be needed.
In a statement, Michel Barnier said, following the last negotiations that, “The United Kingdom has announced its ambition to make substantial progress by June. We share this objective.”
“But that means that we need to make tangible progress before June if we are to reach an agreement that honours our economic interdependence and our geographic proximity by the end of the year.”
However, the UK has already said that it won’t agree to an extension and that only “limited progress” has been made. He added that the UK won’t be following EU laws of labour, finance, health and safety standards, or the environment after the transition period.
There are still some major differences to address in several areas including competition rules, fisheries, and police co-operation and law enforcement.
The UK wants to focus on a core trade deal, energy, and aviation, whilst the EU wants the focus to be on competition rules and fishing quotas. The UK says that it’s considering not engaging in some talks, as it says the EU is making demands that aren’t required by other trading partners.
The current transition period is due to end at the end of this year, and both sides have made a commitment to agree to a deal during this time.
This will be a challenge. But, it’s important to avoid an extension and to avoid trading on WTO terms.
In a magazine interview, Barnier noted, “Agreeing and ratifying a post-Brexit relationship by the end of 2020 “will be immensely challenging, but we will give it our all, even if we won’t be able to achieve everything.”
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