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UK Brexit negotiator requires ‘realism’ from EU

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Lord Frost (left) and Michel Barnier (proper) will meet on Tuesday for the newest spherical of commerce talks

The UK’s chief Brexit negotiator has known as for “realism” from the EU forward of the following spherical of commerce talks starting in London.

Lord Frost mentioned there was “still time” for the 2 sides to agree a post-Brexit commerce deal for subsequent yr.

But he mentioned the EU wanted to recognise the UK’s negotiating place got here from that of a “sovereign state”.

His phrases observe a pledge from Boris Johnson to stroll away from the talks if a deal is not achieved by 15 October.

The EU mentioned it will “do everything in [its] power to reach an agreement” with the UK, however “will be ready” for a no-deal state of affairs.

The change additionally comes after No 10 revealed it will be introducing new laws on customs guidelines in Northern Ireland, in case the negotiations fail.

The announcement has led to considerations from Brussels that the UK wouldn’t ship on the withdrawal settlement, made forward of its exit from the bloc in January.

But the federal government mentioned the laws would solely end in “minor clarifications” and it was dedicated to the sooner deal.

The transition interval – which sees the UK following a lot of the EU’s guidelines whereas the 2 sides attempt to negotiate a commerce deal – is because of finish on 31 December.

If a deal is just not made and ratified by parliaments throughout Europe by then, the UK will transfer onto buying and selling with the bloc on World Trade Organisation guidelines, which might contain tariffs. Critics worry this is able to injury the financial system.

Mr Johnson has dominated out any extension to the talks and, regardless of either side admitting to little progress just lately, he has set a deadline of mid-October – when the European Council is because of meet.

In an e mail to Conservative Party members on Monday, the prime minister mentioned if there was no settlement by that date, “then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on”.

‘Well-trodden floor’

Lord Frost, who has led the UK’s staff of negotiators in talks since March, will meet his reverse quantity from the EU, Michel Barnier, on Tuesday in the beginning of the eighth spherical of talks between the 2 sides.

He promised to “drive home our clear message that we must make progress this week if we are to reach an agreement in time”.

Lord Frost added: “We have now been talking for six months and can no longer afford to go over well-trodden ground. We need to see more realism from the EU about our status as an independent country.

“As we’ve achieved from the start in public and in personal, I’ll reinforce our easy, affordable request for a free commerce settlement based mostly on these the EU has signed earlier than with like-minded companions.”

Lord Frost said the UK had “listened intently” to the bloc’s team and “signalled flexibility” on where it can move, but added: “We have repeatedly made clear that key parts of our place derive from the basics of being a sovereign state, and it is time for the EU to completely recognise this actuality.”

He said the UK was “ramping up” preparations for a no-deal outcome, but also said he hoped progress could be made this week.

Beyond all of the discuss, there’s a real frustration in authorities that the EU is but to deal with the UK as if it had been a totally sovereign nation.

That’s matched on the EU facet by comparable irritation that the UK will not budge.

But the dangerous tempers don’t essentially imply {that a} deal will not be reached.

And all of the blood curdling vows do not imply that in the long run there will not be compromise.

Read extra from Laura

European Commission spokesman Dan Ferie mentioned the EU had “engaged constructively and in good faith” with the talks to this point and can be “fully concentrated on making the most out of this week’s negotiating round”.

But, whereas he mentioned the bloc shared the UK’s “desire to reach a deal quickly”, it ought to be “in line with the EU’s long-term economic and political interests”.

Mr Ferie added: “The EU has made numerous constructive proposals to move the negotiations forward.

“And Michel Barnier has repeatedly mentioned that there must be sufficient time later this yr for the European Parliament and the Council to have their say on any settlement.

“Whether or not there is an agreement in place by the end of the year, the UK’s decision to leave the single market and the customs union will inevitably create barriers to trade across border exchanges that do not exist today.”


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