UK continues to resist key EU demands in Brexit trade talks

There is one more round of talks before both sides take stock in June

Thursday, May 14, 2020

The government has indicated the UK will not surrender to key EU demands on a post-Brexit trade deal, as the latest talks show little sign of progress.

Britain’s chief negotiator David Frost briefed ministers at a Cabinet meeting today on the second round of discussions before it ends tomorrow.

He said the EU was still insisting on continued access to UK fishing waters as part of any agreement, which the government is determined to resist.

Brussels is also standing its ground a so-called “level playing field”, which means the UK would continue to adhere to certain EU standards.

The UK has said it cannot accept this, with ministers arguing that they are simply seeking the same terms as the EU has agreed with other countries such as Canada.

However, the EU has argued that the size of Britain’s economy and its geographical proximity to the bloc means more alignment is needed to prevent it undermining EU standards.

Boris Johnson’s official spokesman said: “Cabinet agreed that we won’t agree to demands for us to give up our rights as an independent state, especially when the EU has shown through agreements with other countries like Canada that these controls are not necessary.

“Cabinet gave its continued full support to the UK’s position in the discussions with the EU.”

There is just one more round of negotiations before the end of June, when both sides have to decide if a deal is possible by the end of the year.

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