UK says time running out for solution in Brexit trade talks

LONDON (AP) – The British government tried on Saturday to speed up the pace of talks to resolve post-Brexit trade troubles with the European Union (EU), saying the two sides remain far apart and time is running out to bridge the gap.

United Kingdom (UK) and EU negotiators have met in Brussels over the past week to try and resolve major differences that have erupted over trade rules for Northern Ireland. The talks move to London tomorrow, and Britain said, “substantial gaps on the fundamental issues remain”.

The UK government said talks so far had been “constructive” but added that “we need to see real progress soon rather than get stuck in a process of endless negotiation because the issues on the ground in Northern Ireland haven’t gone away”.

Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK and shares a border with EU member Ireland, remains inside the EU’s tariff-free single market for goods, even though the UK left the 27-nation bloc at the end of 2020.

The Union Flag and European Union flags flap in the wind at EU headquarters in Brussels. PHOTO: AP