U.K. Surprised, Disappointed With EU Summit Stance on Brexit

Johnson voices ‘disappointment’ at slow progress in talks with EU

Johnson voices ‘disappointment’ at slow progress in talks with EU

With Boris Johnson's October 15 deadline now upon us, European leaders have shown no signs of backing down on their demands, as heads of state met in Brussels for an EU summit and more post-Brexit trade discussions.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who in September had made today a deadline for an agreement to be reached, had indicated he would take stock of the leaders' comments today before deciding whether it is worth continuing with the "future relationship" talks or not.

The insider told Bloomberg that Downing Street officials are still optimistic about a deal as long as both sides enter an intense period of negotiations, known as the "tunnel" phase, in the coming days.

In his call with Ms von der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel, Mr Johnson expressed "disappointment" that the talks had not made more progress.

The UK's chief negotiator said the Prime Minister would set out his response on Friday.

Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, echoed that stance and told the news conference that differences still remained between the two sides on so-called level playing field commitments, issues of governance, and fisheries.

There is not sufficient progress in the Brexit talks for an agreement to be reached the EU's leaders said this evening.

The media outlet warned that a no deal scenario would prove a further set back to the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

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A earlier version circulating on Wednesday had proposed that Barnier "intensify" his discussions with United Kingdom negotiator David Frost in order to reach a deal quickly that could be ratified and implemented before Britain leaves the single market on December 31. "Also surprised by suggestion that to get an agreement all future moves must come from U.K. It's an unusual approach to conducting a negotiation".

With negotiating teams ready to continue to seek a deal which could still come into effect when a Brexit divorce transition period ends on January 1, all eyes turned to London where Johnson was bound to announce his next move on Friday.

"Britain has already imposed so many deadlines that came and went", said Rutte, arguing it was time to concentrate on content instead.

He added that the European Union was ready to continue negotiations "until the last possible day". "If the right terms can't be found at the end of these discussions, we're ready for a no-deal for our future relations".

Michel Barnier said last night the talks would intensify, despite the summit conclusions.

The UK side has complained that the European Union has not moved on rules of origin of products or on technical barriers to trade, and that the need to pick up the pace of negotiations has been hampered by the EU's refusal to negotiate on legal texts.

"Under any circumstance, our fishermen should not be sacrificed for Brexit", he said.

The leaders invited the European Commission to "give timely consideration to unilateral and time-limited contingency measures that are in the EU's interest" due to the prospect of a no-deal outcome.

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