EU negotiator warns post-Brexit trade deal ‘unlikely’

A post-Brexit trade deal is "unlikely", the EU's chief negotiator has said as talks between Britain and Brussels ended in stalemate.

The UK's chief negotiator, David Frost, said talks have not yet reached any agreement following intensified discussions between the two sides.

His EU counterpart Michel Barnier warned the "time for answers is quickly running out", as he said: "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."

The UK's transition period for leaving the EU is due to lapse at the end of December, and both sides have said any trade deal needs to be concluded by October in order to be ratified.

30 PHOTOS
Pictures of the week: July 19 - 25
See Gallery
Pictures of the week: July 19 - 25
Mothers are seen chatting on a playground on a sunny day as England works its way to limit the spread of Coronavirus, Slough, England July 23, 2020. England managed to lower daily Covid-19 cases from several thousand to hundreds thanks to the lockdown it introduced. From tomorrow Brits will be obligated to wear face protective masks in shops. (Photo by Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A Primark security guard poses for a photo wearing a face mask outside Primark in York city centre as government guidance has made face coverings mandatory in shops and supermarkets in England to prevent the spread of the ongoing coronavirus disease
WOKINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Georgia Hall of England plays her tee shot on the 14th hole during The Rose Ladies Series at Bearwood Lakes on July 23, 2020 in Wokingham, England. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
A woman in a protective face mask is seen leaving a shop as England works its way to limit the spread of Coronavirus, Slough, England July 23, 2020. England managed to lower daily Covid-19 cases from several thousand to hundreds thanks to the lockdown it introduced. From tomorrow Brits will be obligated to wear face protective masks in shops. (Photo by Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2020/07/23: Social Distancing Ambassadors employed by Veolia for the safe reopening of Londons West End to help visitors safely transition out of lockdown, and advise people should they fail to socially distance themselves as the wander around or correctly wear their facemasks in the UK's busiest shopping and entertainment district. (Photo by Dave Rushen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds crabs caught on the Carvela with Karl Adamson at Stromness Harbour in Stromness, Orkney, Scotland, during a visit to the Highlands and Northern Isles of Scotland, Thursday July 23, 2020. (Robert Perry/PA via AP)
CORRECTS NAME OF REGIMENT A young visitor imitates the march of a guardsman from the King's Royal Hussars, at Windsor Castle which has reopened to the public after the lifting of further coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England, Thursday July 23, 2020. The COVID-19 restrictions are eased Thursday to allow some tourist attractions to open their gates for public visitors. (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP)
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, centre, tries out a new Streetspace protected cycle lane in London, during the launch of a new online cycle training scheme, Thursday July 23, 2020. The online cycle training course is launched to encourage London's ‘green recovery’ from coronavirus, offering help for participants to get their bike ready for their first ride and offers tips for avoiding potential hazards. (Stefan Rousseau/PA via AP)
Student driver Roisin Clarke, 17, has a debrief with instructor Kayleigh Nurse (right), after passing her driving test in Yeovil, Somerset. Driving tests, which were suspended across the UK in March, have restarted in England with a huge backlog after hundreds of thousands of tests were delayed or cancelled due to the coronavirus lockdown.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JULY 22: Jordan Henderson of Liverpool holds the Premier League Trophy aloft as the team celebrate winning the League during the presentation ceremony of the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield on July 22, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Leeds United''s players and fans celebrate winning the EFL Championship and getting promoted to the Premier League at Elland Road, Leeds. (Photo by Emily Moorby/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Rossa Ryan riding Derry Boy (nearest) win The Visit valuerater.co.uk Handicap at Bath Racecourse.
London, UK - 21 July 2020 Johnny Depp attends libel trial against The Sun, a tabloid newspaper, at The Royal Courts of Justice. CAP/JOR ©JOR/Capital Pictures /MediaPunch ***NORTH AMERICAS ONLY*** /IPX
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JULY 21: A general view of match action at Villa Park, home stadium of Aston Villa at dusk during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Arsenal FC at Villa Park on July 21, 2020 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - JULY 22: Mikko Korhonen of Finland and his caddie Nick Mumford look to play a shot on the 4th hole during Day 1 of the Betfred British Masters at Close House Golf Club on July 22, 2020 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
A photographer lines up his shot at sunrise at St Mary's Lighthouse in Whitley Bay in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Picture date: Tuesday July 21, 2020. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire (Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 21: Dame Vivienne Westwood is suspended 10 Feet high inside giant bird cage in protest for Julian Assange at Old Bailey on July 21, 2020 in London, England. Dame Vivienne Westwood, re-entering public life for the first time after having been shielding for 16 weeks during the COVID-19 lockdown, suspends in giant birdcage in front of The Old Bailey Criminal Court, in protest about the illegal U.S. extradition of Julian Assange for telling the truth about American war crimes. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
A supporter in costume waves a stick with slogans during the protest. Fashion Designer and activist Dame Vivienne Westwood takes part in a protest which sees her suspended 10ft high inside a giant bird cage outside The Old Bailey (Central Criminal Court of England), in protest against the extradition of Julian Assange. (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
European brown bears display territorial behavior as they forage for grubs at the Wild Place Project in Bristol to celebrate the 1st anniversary of the opening of Bear Wood, the UK's largest brown bear exhibit where they live alongside wolves, lynx and wolverine, as they would have done thousands of years ago. (Photo by Ben Birchall/PA Images via Getty Images)
The West Chapel at West Road Crematorium and Cemetery, Newcastle, where the funeral of Jack Charlton will take place later today. The former Republic of Ireland manager, who won the World Cup playing for England, died on July 10 aged 85. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Britain's Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg walks through Downing Street in central London to participate in the first in person cabinet meeting since the coronavirus lockdown at the Foreign and Commonwealth office on July 21, 2020. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
NEWQUAY, ENGLAND - JULY 19: The circus performers show their skills on the opening night of Britain's first ever drive-in circus performed by The Paulos Circus on July 19, 2020, at Circus Field, Newquay, Cornwall, United Kingdom. Formed in 1816, The Paulos Circus is Britain's oldest circus. The holiday season commenced in Cornwall on July 4th with the lifting of restrictions on hotels, holiday lets and camp sites after three months shutdown. (Photo by Hugh R Hastings/Getty Images)
No Parking signs outside a pre-school in East London as most schools closed for the summer term to be reopened in September as per Government advice. (Photo by David Mbiyu / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
NEWQUAY, ENGLAND - JULY 19: A member of staff wears a protective visor and gloves on the opening night of Britain's first ever drive-in circus performed by The Paulos Circus on July 19, 2020, at Circus Field, Newquay, Cornwall, United Kingdom. Formed in 1816, The Paulos Circus is Britain's oldest circus. The holiday season commenced in Cornwall on July 4th with the lifting of restrictions on hotels, holiday lets and camp sites after three months shutdown. (Photo by Hugh R Hastings/Getty Images)
Demonstrators marching with banners, flags and placards during a Black lives Matter protest in central London. Londoners are still marching for racial justice almost two months after the first protests. (Photo by Thabo Jaiyesimi / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
A sign to a Covid-19 Walk in Test Centre in Plashet in East London during the coronavirus pandemic. Londoners have slowly began going back to 'normal' with shops opening. The government advised on the opening of gyms and pools from 11 July followed by indoor gyms, pools and leisure centres on 25 July. (Photo by David Mbiyu / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 19: Olivier Giroud of Chelsea sits on the bench during the FA Cup Semi Final match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium on July 19, 2020 in London, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Alastair Grant/Pool via Getty Images)
BILLERICAY, ENGLAND, JULY 18 2020: Andy Smith of Billericay CC claims LBW not given during Shepherd Neame Essex Cricket League Gooch Division between Billericay CC and Hornchurch CC at Toby Howe Cricket Club, Billericay, England, UK on July 18, 2020.(ESPA/Cal Sport Media/Sipa USA)
The sun rises above Stonehenge in Wiltshire. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
LEEDS, ENGLAND - JULY 19: Leeds United fans celebrate after winning the Sky Bet Championship title at Millennium Square on July 19, 2020 in Leeds, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Mr Frost said "considerable gaps remain in the most difficult areas" following the latest round of talks in London.

He added: "It is unfortunately clear that we will not reach in July the 'early understanding on the principles underlying any agreement' that was set as an aim at the high-level meeting on June 15."

Mr Frost said the risk of a no-deal scenario remains.

He said: "We have made progress in areas like trade, trade of goods and services, transport, social security cooperation, EU programmes, participation and so on, which is good.

"But nevertheless big differences do remain, in particular with the familiar questions of the... so-called level playing field and fisheries policy.

"We're in a negotiation. Either outcome is possible. We will work energetically to get a deal but it is possible we won't reach one."

He said a deal "can still be reached in September" if the EU side moves, but he warned Brussels will have to accept the UK's right to be an "independent state" for this to be achieved.

Speaking at a press conference in London, Mr Barnier said the UK's position on fisheries is "simply unacceptable".

He said: "The UK is effectively seeking for near-total exclusion of fishing vessels from the UK's water.

Mr Barnier also said considerable gaps remain between the UK and EU on the so-called "level playing field" arrangements.

He added: "This week again the UK did not show a willingness to break the deadlock.

"On the level playing field, the UK still refuses to commit to maintaining high standards in a meaningful way. On state aid, despite a clear warning in the political declaration, very clear, we have made no progress at all.

"This is all the more worrying because we have no visibility on the UK's intention on its future domestic subsidy control system and regime."

Mr Barnier continued: "In June the Prime Minister Boris Johnson told us that he wanted to reach a political agreement quickly.

"The Prime Minister also stated three red lines.

"Number one – no role for the European Court of Justice in the UK.

"Number two – the right to determine future UK laws without constraints.

"Number three – an agreement on fisheries that shows that Brexit makes a real difference compared to the existing situation."

He said the EU had engaged "sincerely", adding: "Over the past few weeks the UK has not shown the same level of engagement and readiness to find solutions respecting the EU fundamental principles and interests."

Mr Barnier said the EU and UK have until "October at the latest" to strike a deal or risk the imposition of quotas and tariffs.

"This means that we only a few weeks left and we should not waste it," he warned.

Read Full Story Click here to comment

FROM OUR PARTNERS