Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost has told his European Union counterpart Michel Barnier not to come to London on Monday to try to break an impasse in trade talks but the two men agreed to talk again early next week, UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s office said.
Mr Frost spoke to Mr Barnier after Mr Johnson said EU leaders had left Britain unable to continue the negotiations without a fundamental change in the EU’s approach, a spokesman for Mr Johnson said.
“There was accordingly no basis for negotiations in London as of Monday,” he said. “He and Michel Barnier agreed to talk again early next week.”
The news comes after Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the EU is “very much up for the deal” with the UK.
“I think Europe is very much up for a deal and I think, judging by Michel Barnier’s presentation to the European Council yesterday afternoon, my assessment would be that within that there clearly is room for a deal and there has been actually progress on quite a number of issues,” Mr Martin said.
“Yes, other chapters need to be closed off, and there are some outstanding key issues such as fisheries, governance and level playing field.
“But from an objective analysis it would seem to me that anybody looking in would say, you know, there is the basis for an agreement. Clearly not an agreement at any price.
“That’s why I would say to the UK Government and indeed, I’m speaking as a member state of the European Union, we are quite clearly willing to engage and want to engage and I think the talks will continue next week and they should intensify on both sides, and there will have to be give and take.”