Britain and the European Union will resume negotiations on their post-Brexit relations in negotiations for a third week starting Monday.
The talks will begin at 3 pm Belgian time with a “plenary session” video conference involving the EU chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, and his British counterpart David Frost.
A Downing Street spokesman on Friday reiterated the need to move forward constructively and Britain’s commitment to conclude a free trade agreement with the EU.
However, the latest round of negotiations, at the end of April, left uncertainty whether Britain and the EU would be able to reach an agreement by the end of the year, when Britain’s transition period was over.
Britain, which officially left the EU on 31 January, entered a transition period until the end of the year, during which they continued to apply EU standards.
Barnier regretted that Britain did not want to make a serious commitment to a number of fundamental points. This sentiment was echoed by EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan in the Irish press. “There is no real sign that our British friends are approaching negotiations with plans to succeed. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think so, “he told the RTE public broadcasting group.
The negotiators will theoretically decide in June whether to extend the transition period or not, to give them more time to negotiate. But London flatly rejected this idea, even though the coronavirus outbreak had disrupted the time of the conversation, as well as its form – exclusively through video conferencing.
According to diplomatic sources, Barnier explained to member states this week that Britain is ready to make progress only in areas where it has interests such as transportation, services and trade in goods, but that it is reluctant “to engage in important fields for the European Union. , “like fisheries or what he calls” the equivalent playing field. “
The Brussels Times
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