BRUSSELS / LONDON (Reuters) – Both the EU and the UK said it was still closed after Brexit and differences were put on their earlier divorce deal on Monday as they began a decisive week of negotiations in Brussels.
Britain left the European Union last January and has been in negotiations for a new trade deal since 2021, as well as enforcing divorce, in withdrawal agreements, particularly on the sensitive Irish border.
EU national leaders will assess the status of play at a summit next month, with no deal Brexit possible.
Negotiations have faltered in fisheries, fair competition and settling disputes, and Brexit plunged into fresh chaos this month when London proposed draft laws that would undermine earlier agreements.
“Britain’s conditions may accept the European Union,” said Maros Sephovic, the deputy head of the Blank’s executive commission, after talks with Michael Gov, the minister who handled the divorce deal.
“We say that if the bill is adopted in its current form, it would be a very serious violation … of the Vidalual Agreement and international law,” he said, making early progress before meeting Gove again in mid-October Insistence of.
Gov said about the sections of the Internal Market Bill that withdrawal treaty will remain.
“We want to ensure that the evacuation agreement is fully implemented,” Gov told reporters. “But those clauses are there, they are in law … and those clauses will remain in that bill.”
A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in London that Britain’s focus was on progress in trade negotiations.
“Although informal talks over the last two weeks have been relatively positive, there is still much to be done,” he said.
“We simply want the standard free trade agreement … We are asked to accept provisions that do not reflect the reality of our status as an independent country.”
Trade talks resumed on Tuesday in Brussels. By Friday morning and due to cover energy links and transportation, they are in the final round of negotiations scheduled so far.
The meeting of EU leaders in Brussels on Thursday and Friday is expected to authorize more negotiations ahead of their next summit on 15–16 August. They will then assess whether to try to push the agreement on the line or prepare for the most damaging Brexit at the end of the year.
The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, told reporters late Monday in a press conference in Lisbon that the post-Brexit deal was still possible, adding that the European Union was “working hard”.
“Our economies, on both sides of the channel, were severely affected by the epidemic and we must make every effort to make a compromise that is manageable so that we do not increase the negative impact on our economies,” he said.
The European Union says negotiators should seal an agreement in late October or early November to leave time for ratification by the European Parliament and some of the EU’s national parliaments so that it can take effect from 2021 when Britain’s standstill The infection ends with Brexit.
Otherwise, there will be an estimated trillion euros risk of fragile peace on the island of Ireland as well as annual EU-UK trade as the parties fall back on general World Trade Organization rules that include tariffs and quotas.
Additional reporting by Guy Foulonbridge and William James in London, written by Gabella Baczynska, and Caterina Demoney in Lisbon; Editing by Giles Elgood and Alison Williams