Brexit talks flounder on fisheries: report

Gabriela Baczynska and Elizabeth Piper
·1-min read

EU-UK trade negotiations have so far failed to make a breakthrough on their three most persistent disagreements - the so-called level playing field, fisheries and settling disputes - sources from both sides say.

That comes after nearly two weeks of intensified talks to salvage free trade between the 27-member European Union and the United Kingdom from 2021.

The negotiations now are in a final stretch aimed at sealing a new trade agreement by November 15.

One of the sources, an EU diplomat following Brexit, said disagreements persisted over the divvying up of fish stocks, including Britain's demand for annual quota negotiations.

"That's where we are stuck. They haven't moved beyond these items on fisheries," said the person, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A British source also said there had not been much movement on fisheries.

Britain left the EU in January and the estranged allies have since been locked in complex negotiations to try to agree a free trade deal for when a status-quo transition period ends on Dec. 31.

Three EU diplomats also said the bloc's Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, was due to debrief the 27 EU envoys to Brussels on the latest in the talks at a meeting starting on Wednesday afternoon.

The EU diplomats also expected Barnier to announce good progress on agreeing a joint legal text of a future agreement with the UK on other elements, including social security.