Wednesday 19 August 2020 11:38 am

Brexit free trade talks stalled over UK truckers' access to EU

The EU has reportedly denied the UK’s request for British truckers to maintain full access to mainland Europe as post-Brexit trade talks resume today.

The UK wants its truckers to be able to make pick ups and drop offs inside and between EU member states after the Brexit transition period ends on 31 December, according to the Financial Times.

British haulage groups have emphasised the need to have a deal in place with the EU before next year to avoid spiraling costs and the dismantling of supply chains.

However, the EU has reportedly told its member states that the UK’s demands were “fundamentally unbalanced”.

Member states were also told that the level of access requested by the UK is too similar to pre-Brexit arrangements.

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One person briefed on the talks told the FT: “The commission view is that the UK request is fundamentally unbalanced and would give rights to UK hauliers that are extremely close to single market membership.”

Another said: “We cannot allow the UK to maintain pretty much the same access as it has today.”

Formal trade talks between the UK and EU begin again today, with both sides still deadlocked on several areas.

Alongside the truckers’ demands, the two sides are far apart on EU access to UK fishing waters and business competition regulations known as the level playing field.

Downing Street said on Monday that it still hoped to have a deal agreed in principle by this month, while the EU has said next month is its deadline for an agreement.