BREXIT DEAL STILL FAR OFF
With just over four months to go until a Brexit transition period expires, Brussels and London appear no closer to reach a deal with the latest round of negotiations concluding with "little progress" on Friday.
The European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said he is "disappointed" by the lack of progress and warned that an agreement with the UK before the end of the year "seems unlikely" according to Euronews.
Barnier's British counterpart, David Frost, described the latest talks as "useful" but also flagged that "there has been little progress."
Barnier told reporters after the discussions with the UK ended that "too often this week it felt as if we were going backwards more than forward."
"Today at this stage, an agreement between the UK and the EU seems unlikely," he stressed, adding: "I simply do not understand why we are wasting valuable time."
"Those that were hoping for negotiations to accelerate this week will be disappointed," he went on. "I am disappointed."
'No reciprocal effort to understand'
The latest round of formal discussions, which started on August 17, included round-tables on fishing rights and post-Brexit competition — two of the thorniest issues between the two sides.
Also on the agenda were law enforcement and judicial cooperation, trade in goods and services, transport and the UK's future participation in EU programmes.
Both Brussels and London have previously indicated they want a deal to be reached before October so that it can be approved by parliaments before the transition period expires on December 31.
After the July round of negotiations, Frost, said the EU had listening to some of its concerns, "notably on the role of the Court of Justice" but warned that "considerable gaps remained" on fisheries and the level-playing field.
Barnier on Friday blasted the UK for displaying "no reciprocal effort to understand" the EU's position.
"There can't be any surprise concerning the EU's priorities because they have been the same since 2017," he said. "We will continue to patiently repeat them until the end."