Brexit talks halted after von der Leyen’s phone call with PM Johnson Monday

Brussels (Brussels Morning) After intense negotiations in Brussels on Monday and a one-and-a-half-hour phone call between Commission President von der Leyen and UK Prime Minister Johnson, talks on the post-Brexit trade deal came to a halt only to be resumed later in the week.

The same key issues remain the most difficult to solve with differences so significant that it will require political decisions with EU leaders to agree on a continuation.

Most issues pertaining to the post-Brexit agreement with the UK have been sorted out in the course of the talks that began in March. However, the same issues that have been the focus over the last few months remain — governance, achieving a level playing field for the single market and fisheries.

The talks are now gearing up towards a political showdown at the EU leaders’ summit this week on Thursday and Friday in Brussels. It remains unclear as to when the exact and final deadline is, alhough most EU member governments would wish for there to be something tangible to table for Thursday’s discussions.

The transition period closes at the end of this year. Should the differences persist and prove insurmountable, then a no deal Brexit would be a reality from 1 January.

Crunch issues

Regarding fisheries, the question that remains is how many European vessels should be allowed in UK waters. Regarding the level playing field, the discussion is about the social and environmental standards and state aid rules that are required for tr

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