The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament are calling for significant more progress in the negotiations between the UK and the EU on the future relationship, particularly when it comes to guaranteeing a level playing field.
Following a debriefing of the third round of talks from EU Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier, the S&D Group expressed concerns on the time left to find workable solutions in the negotiations before the transition period ends on 31 December 2020.
Pedro Silva Pereira, S&D spokesperson on EU-UK talks, said:
“The lack of progress to date is extremely worrying. There are substantive areas where the UK is holding back any significant progress towards a comprehensive free trade agreement, such as the issue of the level playing field or the government’s refusal to look seriously at a workable governance structure for the future relationship.
“We stand by our clear position that there can be no agreement without a strong level playing field. Michel Barnier and his team have our full support in delivering on the commitments already agreed with Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the Political Declaration to guarantee high environmental, social and consumer protections, to avoid a race to the bottom and to prevent unfair competition.
“The clock is ticking before important decisions on the future of negotiations are taken in June, so coming round the table to find workable solutions to the most divisive issues is crucial. Avoiding a chaotic, no-deal scenario by the end of the year is still possible but for that to happen the UK must properly engage and show political will.”