Britain, EU in post-Brexit trade talks stalemate

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EU negotiator Michel Barnier says 'no progress has been possible on the more difficult subjects,' despite Britain now having provided suggested texts in almost all areas of disagreement.

"We're treading water... There really is no progress and tempers picked up a bit more this session," said one European source close to discussions.

But Britain refuses to accept that this should form part of an overarching legal agreement, insisting on its new found freedom after the 40 years of being tied to EU rules. Britain insists it wants nothing more in its trade deal than the EU offers other partners such as Canada or Japan – while Barnier says it is in fact asking for much more.

The Europeans argue that Britain's geographic proximity and close business connections to the continent make more safeguards necessary than those in a traditional trade deal.But Frost and Barnier both said there were"useful discussions" on another bone of contention – fisheries – even if both sides remain fundamentally far taking a tough stance on fishing rights, with demands that European vessels keep much the same access to British waters despite Brexit.


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