LONDON (Reuters) – Britain warned the European Union on Thursday that it would be difficult to conclude a Brexit free trade deal by the end of the year unless broad agreement had been reached by October.
FILE PHOTO: Michael Gove arrives at Downing Street in London, Britain February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Britain left the EU on Jan. 31 but talks have so far made little headway on agreeing a new trade deal with the bloc by the time a status-quo transition arrangement ends in December.
“If we haven’t secured significant progress by October, then it will be difficult,” said Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove, a Brexit supporter and one of the most influential members of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government. There was however no firm cut-off date, he added.
Talks have snagged on EU fishing access to British waters, British compliance with EU rules aimed at a level playing field and the customs arrangements for Northern Ireland.
French President Emmanuel Macron is due to hold talks with Johnson in London on Thursday.
“We’ve agreed on both sides