Brexit talks resume

7 December, 2020 12:00 AM printer

BRUSSELS: British and EU negotiators embarked on probably their final two-day scramble to secure a post-Brexit trade deal on Sunday, after failing for eight months to reach agreement, reports AFP.

David Frost arrived in Brussels for more talks with EU counterpart Michel Barnier, ending a two-day pause after a fruitless week of late-night wrangling in London.

“We’re working very hard to try to get a deal. We’ll see what happens in the negotiations today,” Frost told reporters as he arrived at the Gare de Midi train station in Brussels.

A European official said the negotiators would meet later in the day at the EU’s Berlaymont headquarters in Brussels and that talks could go on late.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will reportedly lobby European leaders, after a call with EU chief Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday ended with the sides still facing “significant differences” on the key issues.

The pair’s next call will be on Monday evening and then the 27 EU leaders will gather in Brussels on Thursday for a two-day summit planned to tackle their own budget dispute, but which will now once again be clouded by Brexit worries.

Johnson and von der Leyen issued a downbeat joint statement after their call, with divisions still wide over fishing rights, fair trade rules and an enforcement mechanism to govern any deal.