FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister’s Europe adviser David Frost arrives for a meeting to address the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, at Downing Street in London, Britain March 12, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
LONDON (Reuters) – The United Kingdom told the European Union on Friday that it had to give ground or there would be no Brexit free trade deal by the end of the year, saying there had been very little progress in talks.
“We made very little progress towards agreement on the most significant outstanding issues between us,” UK chief negotiator David Frost said.
Frost said “the major obstacle” to a deal was the EU’s insistence on including a set of novel and unbalanced proposals on the so-called ‘level playing field’ which would bind the United Kingdom to EU law or standards.
“As soon as the EU recognises that we will not conclude an agreement on that basis, we will be able to make progress,” Frost said.
“The EU continues to insist on fisheries arrangements and access to UK fishing waters in a way that is incompatible with our future status as an independent coastal state,” Frost said.
Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton; editing by Stephen Addison