Michel Barnier, the European Union’s chief negotiator for Brexit, said he views the possibility of reaching an agreement by the end of the year with the U.K. on the parties’ future trade relations as unlikely, following a new round of inconclusive talks in London.
Barnier said there had been little progress on two crucial subjects: fair competition and fishing. Barnier added that the U.K.’s position on these two issues ”makes a trade agreement at this point unlikely.”
David Frost, the U.K.’s chief Brexit negotiator, was more upbeat, indicating that he believes that an agreement can still be reached in September.
The British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in June that the parties could strike a deal in July if more effort was put into the negotiations. The country left the EU on Jan. 31, 2020 but a transition phase runs until the end of the year.