The United Kingdom and the European Union virtually resumed their negotiations on Monday 23 November in an attempt to overcome their "
" and reach a post-Brexit agreement making it possible to avoid a painful "
" on 31 December .
Those difficult discussions were slowed down on Thursday by a case of Covid-19 in the European team, which forced EU negotiator Michel Barnier and his British counterpart David Frost to end any face-to-face meetings.
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After technical discussions this weekend, negotiations continue online today with David Frost and our teams,
” Michel Barnier
Time is running out.
Fundamental differences remain but we continue to work hard to reach an agreement,
There are less than 40 days until December 31, when the post-Brexit transition period will end after which the UK - which officially left the EU on January 31 - will stop applying European standards.
Without a trade treaty to govern their relationship, London and Brussels run the risk of a new economic shock, which would come on top of that caused by the epidemic of the new coronavirus.
The two parties, who are working on a common text that is already well advanced, must in principle reach an agreement sufficiently early before the end of the year to allow its ratification by the United Kingdom, but also by the European Parliament.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday that reaching a post-Brexit deal required "
still a lot of work
" despite "
" recorded in recent days.
Negotiations remain difficult on the three main blocking points: the guarantees demanded in London in terms of competition, the access of Europeans to fish-rich British waters and the way of settling disputes in the future agreement.
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly said he is ready for a "
" for lack of sufficient concessions from the EU.
While welcoming "
", its Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said Sunday that London "
should not seek to reach an agreement at any cost
It would be better to come to an agreement, as that would make things easier in the short term,
" he explained.
the biggest impact on our economy will not be caused by this but by the coronavirus
", he warned.