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Brexit talks paused as negotiators identify 'significant divergences' between sides

Ursula von der Leyen and Boris Johnson are now due to discuss the current situation tomorrow afternoon.

File photo: Michel Barnier
File photo: Michel Barnier
Image: Shutterstock/Alexandros Michailidis

BREXIT NEGOTIATIONS HAVE been temporarily paused as the conditions for reaching an agreement have not been met after a week of talks in London.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson are now due to discuss the current situation tomorrow afternoon after the negotiations were suspended.

Chief negotiators for the UK and the EU have issued a joint statement this evening to say that there are “significant divergences” in the arrangements the two sides are seeking.

Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s head of negotiations with the UK, and David Frost, the EU adviser to the prime minister, have said that after a week of “intense negotiations”, they have agreed that the “conditions for an agreement are not met”.

Tweet by @Michel Barnier Source: Michel Barnier/Twitter

“On this basis, they agreed to pause the talks in order to brief their Principals on the state of play of the negotiations,” the statement said.

“President von der Leyen and Prime Minister Johnson will discuss the state of play tomorrow afternoon.”

 

Tweet by @David Frost Source: David Frost/Twitter

Brexit talks have been underway in London this week, with one UK Cabinet minister saying this morning that the trade talks were in a “difficult phase”.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said that there were a “number of tricky issues” that remained to be worked out.

A senior source in the UK government said earlier that a “breakthrough is still possible in the next few days but that prospect is receding”.

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Fishing rights have been a “major bone of contention” in post-Brexit trade talks between the UK and the EU, with the UK seeking to assert control of its waters.

The issue of the “level playing field” relates to aims to prevent unfair competition on state subsidies and standards.

The Brexit transition period is due to end on 31 December.

Additional reporting from AFP

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