No agreement is feasible if differences between the EU and the UK over Brexit are not resolved, President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said, after her phone call with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
She took to Twitter to announce the results of her conversation with Johnson.
I had a phone call with @BorisJohnson on the EU-UK negotiations.— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) December 5, 2020
Differences remain. No agreement feasible if these are not resolved. Chief negotiators will reconvene tomorrow. We will speak again on Monday. https://t.co/fsVtfW0HHh
Von der Leyen added that trade negotiators will resume the talks on Sunday.
European Union Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said that Sunday talks will show if the deal can be reached.
We will see if there is a way forward. Work continues tomorrow. https://t.co/dUGmZB4Dgx— Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) December 5, 2020
Meanwhile, Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin posted on Twitter to say that he welcomes the decision to resume the negotiations.
I welcome the fact that negotiators will resume their discussions on an EU and UK trade deal in Brussels tomorrow. An agreement is in everyone's best interests. Every effort should be made to reach a deal.— Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD) December 5, 2020
On Friday, the UK and EU chief negotiators, David Frost and Michel Barnier, announced they were putting talks on hold to brief their respective political leaders on the state of play, adding that Johnson and Von der Leyen would have a conversation the next day to discuss the latest developments concerning a post-Brexit trade deal.
The UK left the EU on 31 January, and since then London and Brussels have been involved in challenging talks concerning their trade relations once the extension period ends on 31 December. What keeps the sides from achieving a deal is lack of agreement on the issues of fishing rights, the "level playing field" (the standards the UK must meet to export goods to the EU) and the way future disputes will be settled.