Brexit: United Kingdom says it wants an agreement but returns the ball to Brussels

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Minister of State in the Cabinet Office Michael Gove said the door to negotiations remained “ajar” if the EU actually changed “its position”.

Lhe British government said on Sunday that it still wanted to conclude a post-Brexit trade agreement with the European Union, despite negotiations stalled, while believing that the ball was “in the court” of the Europeans.

“I still hope we get an agreement,” Minister of State Michael Gove told Sky News. “I want an agreement, I really want to achieve it, but for that, both parties have to compromise. This is not what the EU is doing at the moment ”, he added, believing that the Europeans did not seem“ serious ”in their desire to succeed.

A free trade agreement before next year

Already sluggish, trade negotiations escalated Thursday when the 27 in council demanded concessions from London, while saying they wanted to continue talks to reach a free trade agreement before next year, when European rules cease to apply in UK.

But London responded by conditioning the continuation of the talks on “a fundamental change of approach” on the part of the Europeans.

” The ball is in his court ”

A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson had stressed that for the British, trade negotiations were “over”. European chief negotiator Michel Barnier and his British counterpart David Frost are due to speak on Monday about the “format” of the talks, according to the European Commission. “The ball is in his court,” insisted Michael Gove of the European negotiator. On the BBC, he repeated that the door to negotiations remained “ajar” if the EU actually changed “its position”.

In the absence of an agreement allowing the United Kingdom to regain its full sovereignty, underlined Mr. Gove, his country would not hesitate to opt for a “no deal” on January 1, potentially devastating for economies already weakened by the pandemic. , with the re-establishment of quotas and customs duties between the 27 and London.

Discussions still stumble on three subjects: access for Europeans to fish in British waters, the guarantees demanded in London in terms of competition – despite recent progress – and how to settle disputes in the future agreement.



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