Talks between the EU and the UK hang in the balance after UK chief negotiator launches a tirade at his EU counterpart Michel Barnier following the third round of talks.
Speaking following the latest talks between the UK and the EU, UK chief negotiator David Frost accused the EU of pursuing “novel and unbalanced proposals” that would “bind the UK into EU law or standards”.
Frost blasted the position of the EU as “unprecedented in Free Trade Agreements and not envisaged in the political declaration”.
The comments suggest that the current ongoing negotiations are proving difficult, with “very little progress towards an agreement on the most significant outstanding issues between us”.
This comes as a worrying position given the British government’s unwillingness to extend the current transition period, with a deadline for reaching a deal by the end of 2020 fast approaching.
David Frost stated that despite “useful discussions” around elements of fisheries, the EU are refusing to give ground on demanding access to British fish, creating a significant sticking point for Britain.
“[The UK] cannot agree arrangements that are manifestly unbalanced and against the interests of the UK fishing industry”.
The next round of talks are set to take place in June, but the current clear water between the UK and the EU over fishing arrangements are proving to be a significant sticking point for the future arrangement.
This comes against the backdrop of pressure within Westminster for the government to extend the transition period in order to ensure that a deal can be reached with the EU.
However, speaking in parliament on Wednesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson reaffirmed Britain’s commitment not to extend the arrangement and the latest frustrated talks are unlikely to move that position.