Negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union delegations will continue into October, the British government said, ending only days before a key meeting of EU leaders the bloc says is the deadline for the two sides to reach a comprehensive trade agreement.
The delegations will meet on the weeks of August 17, September 7 and September 28, the British government said in a statement, released on July 31.
The EU leaders are suggesting to reach a deal before the meeting to allow time for any trade accord to be implemented before the post-Brexit transition period expires by the end of the year on December 31.
A fifth round of talks between ended last week with both representatives were indicating they are still far from reaching an agreement. Without one, businesses face the imposition of tariffs and quotas following the WTO frame from January next year.
“Second round of negotiations on future EU/UK relations starts tomorrow. Michel Barnier and David Frost leading large delegations. Looking forward to progress across the board , in spite of COVID-19 -related logistical constraints #NewBeginnings” tweeted EU Ambassador to UK Joao Vale De Almeida.
“We need real, tangible progress in the negotiations by June. We must advance across all areas” the EU top negotiator Michel Barnier wrote on his Twitter microblog,
“Extending would simply prolong negotiations, create even more uncertainty, leave us liable to pay more to the EU in future, and keep us bound by evolving EU laws at a time when we need to control our own affairs. In short, it is not in the UK’s interest to extend” wrote David Frost on his Twitter.
Both top negotiators had suffered COVID-19. The UK envoy David Frost has followed his counterpart Michel Barnier into self-isolation after being touched by mild symptoms of coronavirus. However this personal situation will not change the general Brexit frame or transition, because the process has to be fulfilled by the 31 of December, which is enshrined in the British law,