James O'Brien's instant reaction to Brexit talks making "little progress"

15 May 2020, 15:24

This was James O'Brien's instant reaction to EU-UK Brexit talks making "little progress".

Little progress was made in UK-EU talks on future trade arrangements, Britain's chief negotiator David Frost has announced.

David Frost claims the EU is insisting on proposing rules that would keep Britain tied to EU laws or standards, which would imbalance the "level playing-field."

James read out the declaration Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed:

"Given the Union and the United Kingdom's geographic proximity and economic interdependence, the future relationship must ensure open and fair competition, encompassing robust commitments to ensure a level-playing field."

James reflected: "Boris Johnson's chief negotiator is complaining about the EU wanting to robust commitments... Boris Johnson signed a political declaration last year which committed the United Kingdom to ensuring open and fair competition encompassing robust commitments to ensure a level-playing field."

After the third round of talks, the UK's chief Brexit negotiator David Frost said:

“I regret however that we made very little progress towards agreement on the most significant outstanding issues between us.

“It is very clear that a standard Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, with other key agreements on issues like law enforcement, civil nuclear, and aviation alongside, all in line with the Political Declaration, could be agreed 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.

“The major obstacle to this is the EU’s insistence on including a set of novel and unbalanced proposals on the so-called “level playing field” which would bind this country to EU law or standards, or determine our domestic legal regimes, in a way that is unprecedented in Free Trade Agreements and not envisaged in the Political Declaration.

"As soon as the EU recognises that we will not conclude an agreement on that basis, we will be able to make progress."