The latest round of Brexit trade talks between the UK and EU finished a day early this week, with “significant differences” still remaining between the two sides.
A statement from chief UK negotiator David Frost said that he was still committed to coming to a principle agreement for a future trade deal this month.
This round of talks was the first to be held face-to-face since March, which injected “extra depth and flexibility to our discussions”, according to Frost.
Negotiations have been at a standstill in several key areas, including over EU access to UK fishing waters and business competition regulation known as the level playing field.
Boris Johnson met with EU chiefs last month in an attempt to unblock some of the larger flashpoints in negotiations.
Johnson said shortly after the meeting that both sides needed to “put a tiger in the tank” and add “a bit of oomph in the negotiations”.
The deadline to ratify a trade deal with the EU is 31 December when the UK’s post-Brexit transition period will end.
Johnson has made clear that the UK will need to make a decision on whether to continue talks or prepare for a no-deal situation before the end of summer.
The next round of negotiations will now take place next week in London.
In a statement today, Frost said: “The negotiations have been comprehensive and useful. But they have also underlined the significant differences that still remain between us on a number of important issues.
“We remain committed to working hard to find an early understanding on the principles underlying an agreement out of the intensified talks process during July, as agreed at the high level meeting on 15 June.
“Talks will continue next week in London as agreed in the revised terms of reference published on 12 June.”