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‘Considerable gaps’: UK negotiator says deal with EU can still be reached in September

‘Considerable gaps’: UK negotiator says deal with EU can still be reached in September

Britain can still reach an agreement with the European Union in September, the UK’s Chief Negotiator David Frost said on Thursday. The statement comes even after the latest round of talks on a future relationship ended with “substantial areas of disagreement.”

Since Britain left the bloc in January, talks on a trade agreement and other ties have all but stalled. Each side has accused the other of failing to compromise before the transition period runs out at the end of this year.

Frost said the EU’s proposals failed to meet the UK government’s demand to be treated as an independent country. The chance of reaching an “early understanding on the principles underlying any agreement” will not be reached in July, with the two sides unable to breach the gap over fair competition and fisheries, Reuters quoted the negotiator as saying.

“Considerable gaps remain in the most difficult areas. That is, the so-called level playing field and on fisheries,” Frost said in a statement. “Despite all the difficulties, on the basis of the work we have done in July, my assessment is that agreement can still be reached in September.”