Share article:
Share article:

Brexit: UK says the ball is in the EU’s court

The British Government said on Sunday it still wanted a trade deal with the European Union, despite the impasse in EU-UK negotiations, but insisted that the ball was in the EU’s court.

Speaking on the Sky News TV channel, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said he still hoped for a deal, but blamed the European Union for the impasse.

“I want a deal, I’m keen to conclude one, but it takes both sides to compromise in order for there to be one. The EU side is not doing so at the moment,” Gove said. The EU was behaving “like an institution that is not serious about making the compromises necessary to secure a deal,” he charged

Sluggish negotiations between the two sides stalled even further on Thursday when the EU demanded concessions from London while saying that it wished to pursue efforts to clinch a post-Brexit free trade deal by the end of this year, when EU rules will no longer apply to the UK.

London reacted by conditioning the pursuit of discussions on a fundamental change of approach on the part of Europe.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson even said that as far as the British were concerned, the talks had ended.

Related News


EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier and his British counterpart, David Frost, are scheduled to meet on Monday on the “format” of the discussions, according to the European Commission.

“The ball is in his court,” Gove said on Sunday, referring to Barnier. Speaking on the BBC, he said the door to negotiations was still ajar if the EU truly modified its position.

However, he also said that, should the two sides fail to reach an agreement that allows the United Kingdom to fully recover its sovereignty, London would not hesitate to opt for a no-deal on 1 January 2021.

This would be a devastating blow to economies already weakened by the novel Coronavirus pandemic, since it would entail the re-imposition of quotas and customs tariffs between the 27 and London.

The talks have stalled on three sticking points: access to the UK’s fish-rich waters, guarantees requested from London with regard to competition – despite recent progress – and how disputes will be resolved under a future agreement.

The Brussels Times

Latest news

Belgian food industry hopeful for future after exceptional challenges
The past two years have posed exceptional challenges to all manner of industries, with almost no sector untouched by the strains the pandemic has ...
Covid Safe Ticket led to more infections in Belgium, says expert
The introduction of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) in Belgium did not necessarily increase the vaccination rate, but instead resulted in more ...
Pfizer and Moderna can ‘adapt vaccines to Omicron variant’ in a few months
If the current mRNA coronavirus vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna are not effective against the Omicron variant of the virus, the companies ...
Video of three trams at standstill on Brussels intersection goes viral
A video of three trams at a standstill in a triangle at an intersection in the Brussels municipality of Schaerbeek last weekend went viral, as it ...
Fake PCR tests lead to court hearings for 160 air passengers
In recent months a high number of passengers arriving at Brussels Airport have been found to have fake negative PCR tests; 160 travellers will appear ...
No crowds, limited events: these measures take effect today
Most of Belgium's latest measures already took effect on Saturday, but some changes – concerning public events, sports competitions and schools – ...
Brussels and Liège residents invited to sleep rough to raise awareness for homeless
As temperatures dip below freezing, sleeping on the streets becomes potentially life-threatening, even without factoring in the myriad other hazards ...
Belgium in Brief: Delta, Gamma… Omicron?
Since June, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is no longer calling newly-discovered coronavirus "variants of concern" after the country where they ...
Omicron variant poses ‘very high’ global risk, warns WHO
The Omicron coronavirus variant poses a "very high" global risk for which countries must be well-prepared, said the World Health Organisation (WHO) ...
De Croo: ‘The one certainty that we can rely on is the impact of our personal behaviour’
On Monday morning, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo spoke on La Première radio station about the recently-announced coronavirus measures and, in ...
Booster vaccines already available for all Brussels residents
All residents of the Brussels-Capital Region from 18 years old can make an appointment for a third/booster dose against the coronavirus from this ...
Covid-19 decisions made ‘too hastily’, socialist leader argues
The government is missing a "general lack of method" when it comes to how coronavirus fighting measures are decided on, according to the leader of ...