İrem UZUN -TDO- The UK and EU have decided to return to the negotiating table to try to agree a post-Brexit trade deal despite significant differences. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen made the decision during a phone call on Saturday. A statement said there were three "critical issues" to address.
In a joint statement issued after the call, the two leaders said “that a further effort should be undertaken by our negotiating teams” to assess whether outstanding disagreements “can be resolved”. Von der Leyen and Johnson said that they recognised the seriousness of the disagreements. “Both sides underlined that no agreement is feasible if these issues are not resolved,” they said. Von der Leyen and Johnson agreed to speak again on Monday evening.
Months of negotiations have produced agreement on a swath of issues, but serious differences remain over the level playing field, such as the standards the UK must meet to export into the bloc and how future disputes are resolved. That’s key for the EU, which fears Britain will slash social and environmental standards and pump state money into UK industries, becoming a low-regulation economic rival on the bloc’s doorstep. Without an agreement in place, tariffs will end up being imposed on traded goods at the start of 2021.