EU and UK officials are due to resume intensive negotiations in Brussels this morning on a future relationship treaty.
Both sides are said to be still far apart on the most difficult issues.
The UK’s chief negotiator has said he will not be changing the UK position that any deal must be compatible with what he called British sovereignty, and taking back control of its laws, trade and waters.
David Frost’s tweet that he would not be changing tack was a clear warning that the political upheaval in Downing Street last week, especially chief advisor Dominic Cummings’ dramatic departure, did not mean that, with the Vote Leave faction neutered, Britain would be softening its stance in the negotiations.
While the level playing field, governance and fisheries remain the key stumbling blocks, the focus is now on the so-called non-regression clauses.
These would be designed to ensure that when producing goods to be sold in each other’s markets, both sides would stick to the same standards on things such as labour and employment law, as well as environmental, climate change and taxation standards.
2/4 We are working to get a deal, but the only one that's possible is one that is compatible with our sovereignty and takes back control of our laws, our trade, and our waters. That has been our consistent position from the start and I will not be changing it.
— David Frost (@DavidGHFrost) November 15, 2020
The European Union’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said the EU remains “determined” and “patient” in its bid to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK as crunch talks resumed in Brussels.
He said on Twitter: “With @Europarl–EN & all Member States, we remain determined, patient, respectful.
“We want our future cooperation to be open but fair in all areas.”