The European Union remains ready to negotiate a trade agreement with the United Kingdom. This was confirmed by chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Monday after a meeting with his British counterpart David Frost. In London, however, it says that negotiations ‘make no sense’ if Europeans do not change their positions.

‘I confirmed that the European Union will remain available to intensify the negotiations in London this week, on all subjects, and on the basis of legal texts. We are now waiting for the response from the United Kingdom”, says Barnier tweeted Monday after the telephone interview with Frost.

At about the same time, however, the British minister, Michael Gove, repeated in the British Parliament that a resumption of negotiations ‘makes no sense’ if Europeans do not want to change their positions ‘fundamentally’. At their summit last week, the European heads of state or government created ‘no basis whatsoever’ to reach an agreement, says Gove.

According to Gove, as things stand, London no longer expects a trade agreement before the end of the year. Prime minister Boris Johnson also spoke out in this way last week. On Friday, however, European leaders reiterated that it was up to the British to ‘take the necessary steps’.

The British left at the end of January, the European Union, and in a period of transition until the end of this year, they are still the rules of the customs union and the single market to follow. No trade is imminent at the beginning of next year to have a so-called hard-Brexit, with tariffs and other barriers to trade. In order to limit the damage, both parties should reach an agreement by the end of October, beginning of November.

Agreements on the conditions of competition, the fisheries sector and an arbitration mechanism are the main obstacles to an agreement. The European Union remains committed to the comprehensive implementation of the previously signed preliminary accord and the related agreements to ensure that there is a physical border controls on the border between the state of Ireland, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.

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