UK and EU: Very little progress in latest round of Brexit talks

British Brexit negotiator David Frost | Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images

UK and EU: Very little progress in latest round of Brexit talks

Level playing field remains biggest stumbling block in the trade negotiations.

By and

5/15/20, 1:57 PM CET

Updated 5/15/20, 2:58 PM CET

LONDON — The third round of EU-U.K. talks on their future relationship ended Friday with “very little progress” made, according to U.K. chief negotiator David Frost — and that view was echoed by the EU’s Michel Barnier.

In a statement, Frost said the “major obstacle” to a deal with the EU remains the bloc’s “insistence” on the U.K. abiding by EU laws and standards in exchange for access to its single market — the so-called level playing field. The U.K. continues to oppose this demand, arguing Brussels does not require this of other countries it has signed free-trade deals with, such as Canada.

“As soon as the EU recognises that we will not conclude an agreement on that basis, we will be able to make progress,” Frost said in the statement.

Shortly after, EU chief Brexit negotiator Barnier said although this round clarified a number of “useful points,” for example on trade in goods, there was no real progress on topics such as governance, fisheries or level playing field provisions.

At a press conference, Barnier said that when it comes to the level playing field, “the U.K. hasn’t entered into a real discussion.”

“We are not going to bargain away our European values to the benefit of the British economy,”

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