Brexit: Boris Johnson to hold crunch EU-UK meeting next week

Boris Johnson and Ursula von der LeyenImage rights Reuters

Boris Johnson will conduct trade talks with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen after the Brexit on Monday next week via video link.

The UK and the EU have said that after four rounds of talks this year, no major progress has been made towards an agreement.

Both sides should decide by the end of June whether the current deadline for negotiating an agreement should be extended beyond the end of December.

The UK has announced that it will not agree to an extension, even if the EU requests one.

A UK government spokesman said both sides had also agreed on an "intensified" schedule of weekly talks during July.

This would include a mix of formal negotiation rounds and smaller group meetings in London and Brussels, if the coronavirus guidelines allow it, he added.

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the President of the European Parliament, David-Maria Sassoli, will also attend the video call on Monday.

Ms von der Leyen said she was looking forward to the meeting, while British negotiator David Frost said he was "very pleased" that an "intensified discussion process" had been agreed.

The government's policy of not extending the transition period in which Britain remains in the internal market and in the Customs Union was "still valid".

Cabinet Minister Michael Gove had previously informed the Commons that Britain would "under no circumstances" accept an extension of the transition period.

He said EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has indicated that progress can be made on issues such as fisheries and state aid. However, some EU Member States were "somewhat more reluctant".

“I think it would be in the interest of everyone, the EU Member States, the Commission and of course the UK government, if Michel Barnier could use the flexibility he has used in the past to reach an agreement that works in the interests everyone, ”he told MPs.

It comes after Mr Barnier said that there was "no significant progress" in last week's round of negotiations.

His British counterpart Frost also said that progress was "limited" and negotiators "reached the limits" of what could be achieved in formal discussions.

The differences between the two sides remain in terms of fishing, competition rules, police cooperation and the way in which an agreement would be enforced.

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