The Government have made a commitment to update Parliament on the progress of our future relationship negotiations with the EU. This statement provides an update on the eighth round of negotiations.
Led by the UK’s chief negotiator, David Frost, negotiators from the UK and the EU held discussions in London on 8 to10 September 2020. There were substantive discussions on almost all issues.
Discussions covered all workstreams including:
Trade in goods: core areas of the goods elements of the FTA, including the UK’s regulatory regime on SPS and proposals for product specific rules of origin.
Trade in services, investment and other FTA issues: including professional qualifications, investment, telecommunications and intellectual property (including geographical indications).
Fisheries: quota-sharing and stock lists.
“Level playing field”: covering subsidies, tax and dispute settlement.
Energy: including civil nuclear co-operation, nuclear safety and electricity trading.
Transport: road haulage standards, aviation security and air traffic management (ATM).
Law enforcement: including mutual legal assistance, Prüm, extradition, and criminal records exchange.
Mobility and social security co-ordination: social security co-ordination arrangements.
Participation in Union programmes: financial management, EGNOS (European geostationary navigation overlay service), EU SST (space surveillance and tracking) and Peace+.
These were useful exchanges. However, a number of challenging areas remain and the divergences on some are still significant. We have been consistently clear from the start of this process about the basis on which agreement is possible between us and these fundamentals remain.
We remain committed to working hard to reach agreement by the middle of October, as the Prime Minister set out in his statement of 7 September. Negotiators have agreed to meet again, as planned in line with the terms of reference, in Brussels this week to continue discussions.