14:26 GMT16 July 2020
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    While the UK has formally left the European Union, it still remains adherent to the bloc's laws and regulations until the end of December. The two sides remain in talks over a deal which will establish the future trading relationship between them.

    The UK's chief negotiator David Frost said on Thursday that Britain is a long way from finalising a free trade deal with the European Union and will eventually have to seriously consider leaving with no deal.

    “I hope we can make some constructive process at the next round", said Frost.
    “At some point (we will have a) need to provide maximum certainty to businesses and economic operators about what is going to happen at the end of the year. At some point prioritising readiness for the end of the year will loom larger than the negotiating process but we’re not at that point at the moment", he added.

    Frost's comments come as the UK and the EU are struggling to continue ongoing talks to establish a comprehensive trade deal with both sides accusing each other of demanding unreasonable prerequisites. 

    In a letter to his EU counterpart Michel Barnier last Tuesday, Frost complained that the bloc was asking for a "low-quality" trade deal with oversight of our laws and institutions which was "unprecedented" by other trade agreements with non-EU countries. 

    The EU has blamed the UK for the lack of progress in trade negotiations with Nicola Beer, vice president of the European Parliament, saying that the onus is on Britain to "speed up" the finalisation or request an extension.

    Michel Barnier has said that the EU remains "open" to an extension to the transition period between the UK's formal departure from the bloc in January and the withdrawal from the Single Market and the Customs Union.

    The UK's opposition Scottish National Party and Liberal Democrats have called for the government to request an extension.

     

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    Tags:
    Michel Barnier, David Frost, European Union, United Kingdom
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