Negotiations on a trade agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom have ended. European negotiator Michel Barnier and his British counterpart David Frost reported this on Friday Twitter. According to them, there are still big differences.
Barnier and Frost will keep their bosses informed of the status of the negotiations. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will then meet on Saturday afternoon.
Negotiations have halted as the two sides still have great disparities in the areas of state aid, oversight and fisheries. These have been the three stumbling blocks for a long time.
Great Britain officially left the EU on January 31, 2020. Since then there has been a transition period during which the same rules apply to mutual trade as before the UK departure. This transition period ends on December 31st.
Until then, Great Britain and the EU want to reach an agreement on mutual trade relations. If that fails, they will fall back on the trade rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). This means that many products are subject to import duties.
On Thursday it was reported that a deal was imminent. An agreement could even be reached this weekend, according to UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, but according to Frost and Barnier reports, it appears that for the time being it has been canceled.