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Boris Johnson’s Brexit negotiator David Frost and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier failed to make any breakthroughs during tense negotiations in May. One of the main issues which need to be decided between the two sides is how to ensure fair competition between British and EU companies under a new trade deal.
According to The Guardian, the EU official has called the next round of negotiations, which begins on Monday, “crucial”.
They said: “If there is no parallel progress – level playing field, protection of fundamental rights and governance – then we risk going into July with a major problem, the stalemate Barnier warned about.”
It is hoped next week the EU will compromise on fisheries and the two sides can find common ground between their positions.
Deals also need to be made on air transport, energy and law enforcements.
The UK has so far not accepted plans by Brussels for them to keep the same level of access to fishing water after Brexit.
The UK’s chief negotiating team have said the UK must be able to make its own laws.
Mr Frost has warned the EU that they will need to change their stance on various areas by the next round of talks in June.
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The UK has made it clear it will not extend the transition period beyond 2020 and will leave without a deal at the end of the year if one has not been agreed.
However, the transition period could be forced to be extended if no trade agreement has been reached – both sides must decide by June if they want to extend the December 31 deadline.
Talks between the two sides have moved online because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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A UK government spokesperson said it was to be “expected at this stage in a very difficult negotiation that both sides are making their case robustly and ensuring it is understood. We will continue to approach negotiations constructively, but our position hasn’t changed – we won’t agree to any EU demands for us to give up our rights as an independent state.
“And we’ve never asked for anything special, bespoke or unique – we’re looking for a free-trade agreement, based on precedent and similar to those the EU has already got with other countries like Canada.”
The next round of talks will begin next week on June 1.
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