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UK to EU: no point in more Brexit talks right now

By: Reuters Editorial | 20 October 2020

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The UK says there’s no point in further Brexit talks unless the EU shows it’s willing to change its attitude. Julian Satterthwaite reports.

Only 24 hours ago the UK and EU were at least talking about talking.

European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic even pledged to try harder:

“So what we concluded this morning was that we are going to – I would say – redouble our efforts.”

But by Tuesday (October 20), London seemed to have had a change of heart.

Business minister Nadhim Zahawi said the government now felt there was no point in more talks.

He said negotiations would be futile until the EU showed it would treat the UK as ‘an equal, as a sovereign’.

The comments come after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said last week that the UK should now get ready for a no-deal exit at the end of the year.

Speaking in parliament on Monday (October 19) cabinet office minister Michael Gove said the sticking points remained unchanged:

“We cannot accept the negotiators’ proposals that require us to provide full, permanent access to our fishing waters… We can’t operate a state aid system which is essentially the same as the EU‘s, with great discretion given to the EU to retaliate against us, if it thought that we were deviating from it, and more broadly, we can’t accept an arrangement which means that we stay in step with laws which have been proposed and adopted by the EU.”

With talks stalled, it’s still unclear if London is bluffing, or really set on a no-deal departure.

Investors still seem to bet that an agreement of some kind will be reached.

Tuesday morning saw sterling broadly hold steady against the dollar.


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