EU representative Michel Barnier is going to extend his stay in London until 28 October amidst mutual concessions in the negotiations, the newspaper reports.
Negotiations between the UK and the European Union on a trade agreement, which resumed on 22 October in London, are proceeding in a positive spirit, giving rise to cautious optimism about a possible deal. This was reported by The Sunday Telegraph on Sunday, citing sources.
According to them, EU representative Michel Barnier intends to extend his stay in London until 28 October amidst mutual concessions in the negotiations. Initially, the EU delegation was supposed to stay in the British capital until 25 October. According to the publication, the parties are expected to move to Brussels in the second half of next week to discuss the final details of the agreement. However, both the UK and the European Union believe that it is necessary to decide by 31 October whether it makes sense to continue negotiations.
According to the newspaper source, the parties have so far agreed on approximately 90% of the topics that they would like to see reflected in the text of the agreement. “There is a possibility that we will make significant progress,” another interlocutor close to the UK government quoted the paper as saying.
On 16 October, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he saw no point in continuing trade negotiations with Brussels unless they agreed to ‘fundamentally change’ their negotiating position. The British Prime Minister’s statement came after Charles Michelle, head of the European Council, said at the end of the EU summit that the community will not change its approach to negotiations and is waiting for concessions from London. On 21 October, after a conversation with Barnier, British negotiator David Frost announced the resumption of intensive negotiations.
The UK left the EU on the night of 1 February 2020 after three years of negotiations on the terms of withdrawal. Brussels and London have agreed on a transition period until the end of this year, during which the United Kingdom is subject to all European regulations, including trading under the Single European Market. Until the end of the transition period, which the British Government refused to extend, the parties were to agree on the format of future relations and conclude a free trade agreement. However, so far the parties have not been able to overcome major differences, including agreeing on the details of the movement of goods across the transparent border between EU Member Ireland and Northern Ireland, which has left the EU as part of the United Kingdom.