Final showdown: Barnier issues coded Brexit warning after 25 days of exhausting talks

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The wrangling over a post-Brexit trade deal have been at a virtual standstill for 25 days as rows over the so-called level-playing field and future fishing rights continue. Mr Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, signalled that the bloc was not ready to back down in the scrap over future common standards. In a social media statement, the Frenchman said: “The European Commission negotiating team is continuing negotiations in Brussels this week with David Frost and team.

“With the European Parliament and all member states, we remain determined, patient and respectful.

“We want our future cooperation to be open but fair in all areas.”

Brussels wants Britain to sign up to the same standards on state aid, taxation, environmental and workers’ rights as the price for any free-trade agreement.

But No10 has been adamant the Government must take back control of the country’s laws when the post-Brexit transition period expires in December.

Lord Frost yesterday warned the talks will fail unless Mr Barnier drops demands to keep significant controls over Britain’s regulations.

On Twitter, the peer said: “We are working to get a deal, but the only one that’s possible is one that is compatible with our sovereignty and takes back control of our laws, our trade, and our waters.That has been our consistent position from the start and I will not be changing it.

“There has been some progress in a positive direction in recent days. We also now largely have common draft treaty texts, though significant elements are of course not yet agreed. We will work to build on these and get an overall agreement if we can. But we may not succeed.

“Either way, as the Prime Minister Boris Johnson made clear on October 16, people and businesses must prepare for the change that is coming on December 31, most of which happens whether there is a deal or not.”

Both sides have locked in intense negotiations for 25 days with little signs of progress emerging from the wrangling.

Downing Street is running out of patience and could pursue a no-deal Brexit if there aren’t any breakthroughs ahead of a crunch EU leaders’ summit on Thursday.

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