EU negotiator Michel Barnier described the discussions as “disappointing” and warned the UK it could “not have the best of both worlds”, adding: “We’re not going to bargain away our values for the benefit of the British economy.”
London and Europe have “made very little progress towards agreement on the most significant outstanding issues between us”, Says David Frost the UK’s Brexit negotiator.
The UK announced it had left the EU at the end of January after 47 years of membership and is currently inside of an 11-month transition period which ends in December this year with the time being used to discuss terms and relations.
Mr Frost said it was “very clear” that a free trade agreement, along with accords on issues like security and aviation, could be struck “without major difficulties in the time available”.
“Both sides have tabled full legal texts, there are plenty of precedents, and there is clearly a good understanding between negotiators,” he said.
Mr Frost said the UK will “continue to work hard to find an agreement”, but warned: “We very much need a change in EU approach for the next round beginning on 1 June.”
The UK’s negotiator continued: “The major obstacle”to a deal was the EU’s insistence on including a set of novel and unbalanced proposals on the so-called ‘level playing field’.”
“As soon as the EU recognises that we will not conclude an agreement on that basis, we will be able to make progress.”