EU and British negotiators agreed to continue trade talks next week.

British and EU negotiators have agreed to talk next week despite Boris Johnson’s warning that Britain must prepare to leave the post-Brexit transition period without a deal.

The British prime minister said on Friday there must be a “fundamental change” in the EU’s approach to the negotiations if a no-deal outcome is to be avoided.

“After 45 years of membership they are not willing, unless there is some fundamental change of approach, to offer this country the same terms as Canada. And so, with high hearts and complete confidence, we will prepare to embrace the alternative,” he said.

Downing Street said the EU had ended the trade negotiations by failing to agree to move into a more intensive phase of negotiations and for suggesting at this week’s European Council in Brussels that Britain must move from its positions to make a deal possible.

In a call on Friday evening, Britain’s chief negotiator, David Frost, rejected an offer by his EU counterpart to resume talks in London next Monday, but the two men agreed to speak next week.

“Lord Frost said that, as the prime minister had made clear, the European Council’s conclusions yesterday had left us without a basis to continue the trade talks without a fundamental change in the EU’s approach to these negotiations. There was, accordingly, no basis for negotiations in London as of Monday. He and Michel Barnier agreed to talk again early next week,” a Downing Street spokesman said.

Mr Johnson last month set October 15th as a deadline for progress in the negotiations, threatening to walk away from the talks if a deal was not within reach.

EU leaders played down the significance of the latest British move, stressing they wanted negotiations to continue and that an agreement was in the interest of both sides.

“We are clear that we are determined to negotiate, we are determined to reach an agreement, but we know there are some difficult topics. It is the case for fisheries, certainly, and also for level playing field and also governance,” said European Council president Charles Michel.

Outstanding issues

The two sides have moved closer in recent weeks on the most important outstanding issues: fisheries, level playing field guarantees of fair competition and how disputes over the agreement’s implementation should be resolved.

Britain has been pressing the EU to intensify the talks and to start negotiating the legal text of an agreement. but Brussels insists that the “landing zone” for a deal must be clear before moving into that phase.

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon condemned what she described as Mr Johnson’s reckless approach to the negotiations while Britain is struggling to deal with the impact of coronavirus.

“At best this is reckless brinkmanship. At worst it means the UK government is now actively pursuing a no-deal outcome,” she said.

The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Satellites May Help Forecast Volcanic Activity

Satellites May Help Forecast Volcanic Activity

NASA scientists say they may be able to predict eruptions far enough in advance to save lives

Growing concern over unrest in Colombia

Growing concern over unrest in Colombia

Unrest has erupted in Colombia over President Iván Duque's proposed tax hike. He announced the measure on April 28, and four days later canceled it because Colombians began protesting. Duque said the revenue would have eased the strain the pandemi...

Education Secretary says he expects all schools to open in the fall.

Education Secretary says he expects all schools to open in the fall.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona is pushing for all schools to return to in-person learning by September. Chicago Teachers Union Vice President Stacy Davis Gates joins CBSN to discuss the Biden administration's timeline for schools to reopen, if...

Apple AirTags raise concern over possible stalking, experts say.

Apple AirTags raise concern over possible stalking, experts say.

Some experts say Apple's new lost item tracking device could be a stalking risk. The AirTags allow owners to find belongings using high-tech precision, but could it be misused? Geoffrey Fowler, a technology columnist for the Washington Post, joins...

Trainer responds to Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit failing drug test.

Trainer responds to Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit failing drug test.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert said Sunday that his barn has been told Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit failed a postrace drug test. In a Sunday morning press conference at Churchill Downs, Baffert said Medina Spirit was found to have 21 pico...

Congresswoman Liz Cheney likely to be ousted as Republican Conference Chair.

Congresswoman Liz Cheney likely to be ousted as Republican Conference Chair.

House Republicans are expected to vote Wednesday to remove Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming as the party's conference chair. It follows an ongoing feud between Cheney and former President Trump. Tyler Pager, White House reporter for The Washing...