EU and UK no closer to Brexit agreement, Johnson to Brussels on Thursday | NOW

The European Union and the United Kingdom are still a long way from reaching an agreement on the future trade relationship, both parties said in a joint statement on Monday evening. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is therefore going to Brussels for a physical conversation about the still existing points of contention.

Earlier on Monday evening, there was a telephone Brexit meeting between Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The conversation, which, according to a source, lasted about an hour and a half, did not yield any significant results.

Johnson and Von der Leyen discussed the chances of success of further talks about a trade deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union. Von der Leyen said after the conversation that the positions of both sides on crucial issues – fisheries, surveillance and a level playing field – are still far apart.

“We have asked our chief negotiators and their teams to outline the main positions on which we disagree and will be discussing them in a physical meeting in Brussels in the coming days,” the joint statement reads.

Negotiations on a trade agreement have entered a crucial phase. If there is no approved agreement by January 1, the current transition phase will end without a deal. This means that from next year the EU and the United Kingdom will be imposing reciprocal import duties on goods.

On Thursday, EU leaders will meet in Brussels. Brexit negotiations with the United Kingdom are high on the agenda. Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney therefore said Wednesday is the final deadline for the EU and the UK to reach an agreement. “If there is no deal on Thursday, leaders in the EU will consider contingency plans for a no-deal Brexit.”


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