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A post-Brexit UK-EU trade deal is currently “unlikely” to be reached, Michel Barnier has said.
UK and EU negotiators have not yet reached any agreement following intensified talks between the two sides in July.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Barnier said the two sides had until “October at the latest” to strike a deal or risk the imposition of quotas and tariffs from January 1 next year.
“This means that we only a few weeks left and that we should not waste it,” the EU’s chief negotiator said. “There are risks of no deal.
“By its current refusal to commit to the condition of open and fair competition, and to a balanced agreement on fisheries, the UK makes a trade agreement at this point unlikely.”
Barnier sad the UK was “effectively seeking for near-total exclusion of fishing vessels from the UK’s water” which was “simply unacceptable”.
The UK’s chief EU negotiator, David Frost, agreed “considerable gaps remain in the most difficult areas”, including fishing, following the latest round of talks.
“We have always been clear that our principles in these areas are not simple negotiating positions but expressions of the reality that we will be a fully independent country at the end of the transition period,” he said.
The UK is currently in a transition period which sees it continue to abide by EU rules.
This period comes to a close at the end of the year and Boris Johnson has ruled out extending it.