Brexit deal in tatters: Boris and VDL agree to FINAL chance after ANOTHER deadline missed
BORIS JOHNSON and Ursula von der Leyen agreed to a final chance of reaching a Brexit deal as they held a crucial phone call after trade talks failed to reach an impasse yet again.
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Brexit trade negotiations ended on another dismal note this week as they were put on pause yesterday. Both sides failed to reach an agreement on three outstanding issues around future fishing arrangements, state aid and fair competition guarantees, otherwise known as the level playing field. The Prime Minister spoke to the European Commission President this afternoon in an attempt to break the impasse in talks as the transition period deadline looms closer.
In a joint statement released this evening, Mr Johnson and Ms von der Leyen said they have agreed that a further effort should be undertaken by their negotiating teams to assess whether they can resolve their remaining differences on a post-Brexit trade deal.
The statement said: “In a phone call today on the on-going negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom, we welcomed the fact that progress has been achieved in many areas.
“Nevertheless, significant differences remain on three critical issues: level playing field, governance and fisheries. Both sides underlined that no agreement is feasible if these issues are not resolved.
“Whilst recognising the seriousness of these differences, we agreed that a further effort should be undertaken by our negotiating teams to assess whether they can be resolved.
“We are therefore instructing our chief negotiators to reconvene tomorrow in Brussels.
“We will speak again on Monday evening.”
Ireland’s Prime Minister Micheal Martin tweeted: “I welcome the fact that negotiators will resume their discussions on an EU and UK trade deal in Brussels
“An agreement is in everyone’s best interests. Every effort should be made to reach a deal.”
Boris Johnson spoke to Ursula von der Leyen this evening
The European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier tweeted: “We will see if there is a way forward. Work continues tomorrow.”
As he left for Brussels on Friday, Mr Barnier had hinted a trade deal could still be agreed.
He said: “We keep calm, as always, and if there is still a way, we will see.”
An EU official said today that no emergency summit of European Union leaders on Brexit is planned at this stage.
They added there was already a gathering scheduled for December 10 to 11.
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