The UK and EU governments have decided to carry on with negotiations today, after halting them last night due an impasse that was reached.
After a phone call that took place on Saturday between PM Johnson and European Commission President von der Leyen, talks have now resumed.
Although the UK left the EU on the 31st of January, the country still has to follow the bloc’s trade rules until the 31st of December.
It has been agreed that the talks will continue in Brussels on Sunday, with the leaders agreeing to speak again on Monday.
Both sides have stressed the three pressing areas that need to be negotiated. In a statement, the two leaders said: “Fishing rights, competition rules and how any deal is enforced were still causing problems”, clarifying that: “No agreement is feasible if these issues are not resolved”.
They added: “Whist recognising the seriousness of the differences, we agreed that a further effort should be undertaken by our negotiating teams to assess whether they can be resolved.”
Mr Johnson and Ms Von der Leyen released a statement saying that they “welcome[d] the fact that progress had been achieved in many areas”.
The EU’s Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier, responded to this by tweeting yesterday: “We will see if there is a way forward”.
We will see if there is a way forward. Work continues tomorrow. https://t.co/dUGmZB4Dgx
— Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) December 5, 2020
EU leaders are expected to meet in Brussels on Thursday. This would be their final chance to ratify a deal before the end of the year.