LONDON — Differences between the EU and the U.K. on fisheries policy could prove “impossible to bridge,” Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator said at the end of the ninth round of Brexit negotiations.
In a statement issued Friday, David Frost said “familiar differences” on so-called level playing field issues, including state aid, and fisheries remain. But fisheries is the most problematic, he said.
“On fisheries, the gap between us is unfortunately very large and, without further realism and flexibility from the EU, risks being impossible to bridge,” he said. “I am concerned that there is very little time now to resolve these issues ahead of the European Council on 15 October.”
Frost said there has been “some limited progress” on the level-playing field conditions but said the EU “need to move further before an understanding can be reached.”
Frost added that “the outlines of an agreement are visible” in most of the core areas of a trade and economic agreement, including trade in goods and services, transport, energy, social security, and participation in EU programs. The two sides have also made progress on a law enforcement agreement and on the structure of the overall partnership, he said.
“For our part, we continue to be fully committed to working hard to find solutions, if they are there to be found,” Frost said.
Informal talks will continue.