Insufficient progress for Brexit deal, say EU leaders

At today's summit heads of state and government left open the possibility of further weeks of talks

15 October 2020
By Liv Rowland

There is not sufficient progress in the Brexit talks for an agreement to be reached the EU’s leaders said this evening.

However they left open the possibility for further negotiations “in the coming weeks”.

It is now up to the UK to "make the necessary moves to make an agreement possible," they said.

The statements were published today by the European Council after the first day of summit talks between EU heads.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who in September had made today a deadline for an agreement to be reached, had indicated he would take stock of the leaders’ comments today before deciding whether it is worth continuing with the “future relationship” talks or not. 

The European Council said in its statement that it noted the situation “with concern” however it still wished to have as close as possible partnership with the UK, but respecting matters such as the “level playing field, governance and fisheries”.

It also said the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (WA) must be “fully and timely implemented”, noting the UK’s Internal Market Bill, which is now subject to infringement measures by the European Commission as it is considered by the EU to break aspects of the WA deal.

The European Council called on member states to step up work to be ready for all eventualities, including no-deal.

The leaders are to have dinner at 19.30, with further statements to journalists expected at the end of the evening.

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