PM Johnson, European Commission president talk as Brexit negotiations stall

Dec. 5 (UPI) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen spoke on the phone Saturday to try to break a stalemate in Brexit negotiations.

The call followed a Friday announcement by the deal’s chief negotiators that conditions for an agreement had not yet been met.


Neither Johnson nor von der Leyen have said what they discussed during the call, but sticking points on the deal have included fishing rights, rules regarding state subsidies for business as well as arrangements for policing deals.

Before the phone call was to take place Michel Barnier, chief Brexit negotiator for the European Union, was headed to Brussels to discuss negotiations over the trade deal.

“If there is still a way, we will see,” said Barnier, who had been negotiating with Johnson’s special adviser, David Frost.

Barnier planned to meet with diplomats Friday but canceled his trip to continue Brexit negotiations.

Negotiators are running out of time to reach an agreement on the deal, and chief negotiators for both sides have said they were putting talks on hold.

Britain officially left the EU on Jan. 31 after initially voting to do so in 2016, but is still under EU trading rules until the end of this calendar year.

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