Economy

France accuses United Kingdom of stalling in post-Brexit trade talks

France accuses United Kingdom of stalling in post-Brexit trade talks”

Britain wants to agree simpler parts of its future relationship with the European Union in order to create momentum in the negotiations, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman said on Tuesday when asked about the stalled talks.

Ex-Australian PM Tony Abbott, who has spoken to ministers about a role in post-Brexit trade talks, yesterday told MPs in an online meeting he hoped the European Union "comes to its senses" and offers "at least a Canada-style free trade deal".

Although UK officials had hoped that the German presidency would increase pressure on the European Commission's team led by Michel Barnier to make further compromises, the trade talks appear to have hit a stalemate.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman said: "The EU continues to insist that we must agree on hard areas in the negotiations, such as EU state aid, before any further work can be done in any other area of the negotiations, including on legal texts, and that makes it very hard to make progress".

Mr Barnier is refusing to discuss other matters until the two issues are settled in the EU's favour.

The two negotiators are meeting ahead of the resumption of formal talks next Monday.

Both sides have become increasingly gloomy about the prospects for a deal in recent weeks after hopes of a summer breakthrough faded.

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'They don't seem ready to move on to anything big, ' one said.

Brussels is also demanding to know details of the UK's state aid regime - the rules on bailouts of struggling companies and sectors - before moving on to other areas of negotiation.

Michael Roth the European Affairs Minister told the European Parliament, "We do understand that the United Kingdom wants certain advantages for its own fishermen, for its own fisheries industry".

But British ministers have insisted that the United Kingdom, as an independent country, should be independent in setting its own industrial policy.

"On Brexit we always showed unity and proved wrong those who saw signs of an overall implosion of Europe", Le Drian added.

'It is in staying united that we can stick to our line of a global accord'.



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