'Significant divergences' remain as UK-EU trade talks end early for second consecutive week

Fri 10 Jul 2020
Posted by: Noelle McElhatton
Trade News

EU UK tug of war

Talks for a future trade deal between the UK and EU were cut short for the second week in a row yesterday (9 July), with the EU saying “significant divergences remain”.

However, negotiations continue to be “constructive” as both sides continue to seek an agreement.

“We are working hard to overcome the significant divergences that remain between us,” a spokesman for the European Commission told a daily news conference. “We are working towards an agreement.”

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier also tweeted that the two sides remain apart in the negotiations but the EU “continue working with patience, respect and determination.”

‘Not at any price’

Barnier and his UK counterpart David Frost met for informal talks earlier in the week and it was reported in the national media that progress had been made on fisheries – one of the major stumbling blocks in the talks so far.

Barnier also told the House of Lords EU Committee that the bloc was “ready to grant equivalence”, which would give the City of London access to European financial markets.

However, he also tweeted earlier in the week to say the EU will agree to a deal, but “not at any price”.

The Telegraph report that Angela Merkel and Boris Johnson this week told each other they are ready to walk away from the talks if the right deal cannot be struck.