18 August 2020 | UK NEWS
A government spokesperson has said the UK is hoping to agree a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU next month.
As the talks resume today for the seventh round of negotiations, the Prime Minister’s spokesman said that the UK negotiators would “continue to plug the gaps” where any differences remain in order to get a deal in September.
The UK has until the 31st December to reach a deal before it leaves the European bloc.
Until now, talks have been held on a number of major issues. The future role of the European Court of Justice, the EU’s fishing rights in UK waters and the so-called “level playing field”, which would dictate the regulatory standards between the two parties, have been the key sticking points in the negotiations thus far.
The spokesman confirmed these issues as the focal point of the coming negotiations, saying: “There are many issues that will be discussed during this week’s round, not least the level playing field, fisheries, trading goods and services, amongst others.” He added: “Our assessment is that a deal can still be reached in September.”
However, after the previous round of negations, Michel Barnier had said that the UK was not showing a “willingness to break the deadlock” over difficult issues. He had also acknowledged that a deal had to be made by October “at the latest” in order for it to be ready for December.
Barnier is due to have dinner tonight with David Frost, the UK’s Chief Negotiator, before the actual talks commence tomorrow. Running until the end of Thursday, the negotiation round will then conclude with a breakfast between Frost and Barnier on Friday morning.