With 19 days left until the end of the year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have held discussions described as critical in terms of the possibility of reaching a trade agreement.
Von der Leyen gave a brief press release after a phone conversation in which she stated that talks between the European Union and the United Kingdom would continue.
Von der Leyen says the remaining differences between the two parties were discussed. She says the discussions with Johnson have been good and constructive.
In a joint statement, Johnson and von der Leyen stated that negotiators from both sides worked day and night to move forward.
– Despite the fact that deadlines have passed over and over again, we think we both think they are responsible for doing a little extra at this time.
So the negotiators were directed to continue negotiating in Brussels with the aim of trying to reach an agreement.
Johnson: Britain will not leave the negotiations
For his part, Boris Johnson said that there are still major issues on which opinions differ, but negotiations will continue and that there is still hope.
We will be as creative as possible. But we cannot compromise the basic premise of Brexit, which is that we can control our laws and our fisheries. It is very simple.
Johnson sticks to his view that a deal is possible if the European Union wanted it. Within the European Union, the view is that, in turn, it is the UK that should act in disputes.
Johnson also repeated his offer to discuss the issue with other European Union countries.
This is something that the 27 member states have not yet agreed upon, referring to the fact that the responsibility for negotiations rests with the European Commission.
The negotiations escalated
Johnson and von der Leyen have discussed with each other repeatedly over the past week. The actual meeting in Brussels on Wednesday did not lead to a breakthrough.
Despite the fact that large parts of the trade agreement have been negotiated, there are still three unresolved disputes: hunting, fair competition and how to resolve disputes in the future.
If you do not succeed in agreeing to an agreement before the end of the year, you will have to follow the WTO trade rules.
This means that you may have to charge tariffs and fees for many products.
15:30: Article updated with Boris Johnson’s comment.