Boris Johnson arrives in Brussels for talks with Ursula von der Leyen

edited December 2020 in Other Political Debate

The EU and UK chief negotiators have gone as far as their respective mandates will allow. Without further concessions on either side it seems unlikely that the UK will leave with a deal on the UK's future relationship with the EU.

The main areas of disagreement have remained unchanged for months: fisheries, the level playing field (standards and state aid) and the overall governance of any deal.

Both parties will suffer if a deal is not reached, but the UK has more to lose. With or without a deal there will be new red tape and friction to the trading relationship.

On my way to Brussels to meet @EU_Commission President @vonderleyen.

A good deal is still there to be done. But whether we agree trading arrangements resembling those of Australia or Canada, the United Kingdom will prosper mightily as an independent nation ??

— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) December 9, 2020

Following the meeting a senior source, close to the Prime Minister said:  "The PM and VDL had a frank discussion about the significant obstacles which remain in the negotiations. Very large gaps remain between the two sides and it is still unclear whether these can be bridged. The PM and VDL agreed to further discussions over the next few days between their negotiating teams. The PM does not want to leave any route to a possible deal untested. The PM and VDL agreed that by Sunday a firm decision should be taken about the future of the talks."

The European Commission described the discussions as "lively and interesting", but echoed the UK's view that positions remained far apart. A decision is expected by the end of the weekend.

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