Angela Merkel admits European Union is 'unsettled' by Brexit trade talks deadlock

01 Décembre, 2020, 13:38 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Ursula von der Leyen holding a microphone Mail Online logo

Her comments came after Ireland's foreign minister warned that the collapse of talks would have "costly and disruptive" consequences.

In a statement, the government said a new Border Operations Centre would be set up to gather information on the flow of goods and people, adding: "Changes to the way we trade with Europe will likely mean that there is short-term disruption at the border".

Earlier, he had signalled some progress on the "level playing field" provisions which look to ensure fair competition between Britain and the European Union, and said fishing remained the most hard issue to solve.

Talks between the United Kingdom and European Union are continuing in London with time running out to strike a deal before the current transitional trading arrangements expire at the end of the year.

"I've been saying for the last number of weeks that this is the key week, and we're staying the same again this week", Coveney told Morning Ireland.

Echoing the German Chancellor's sense of urgency, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said: "We are running out of time here".

"The British Government was offered a much longer transition period, and they turned it down, yet they're now blaming the European Union for it - that's just ridiculous", Mr Coveney told BBC Radio Ulster.

Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, the cabinet minister who oversees the Brexit talks for London, said a deal was close but that to get it over the line the European Union would have to live up to its responsibilities.

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This comes as talks over a trade deal enter their final days with serious differences yet to be resolved.

He said the negotiating teams - led by the EU's Michel Barnier and the UK's Lord Frost - need to find a compromise "that both sides can live with" on the fishing and level playing field disputes.

A failure to strike an agreement will see Britain and Brussels forced to trade on basic World Trade Organisation terms from January 1 which would see tariffs imposed on goods.

"Of course if great progress were made this week and you were almost there it is always possible to extend those negotiations".

The two sides remain at loggerheads over fisheries in particular, and Johnson's spokesman said there had been some progress recently but "there still remains divergence on issues [such as] fisheries and the level playing field".

A senior European Union diplomat said the European Union will launch contingency measures on Wednesday or Thursday if it has been unable to reach agreement by then with Britain on a trade deal.

"But we have been clear that we won't change our negotiating position and we have been clear what that position is".

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