Brexit: Gaps said to be only slowly shrinking on three core issues, growing concern of time left
BBC Europe editor, Katya Adler, tweets
After a briefing to member states on state of play in EU-U.K. negotiations, EU diplomat says: "Gaps are only slowly shrinking on core issues like level playing field, governance and fisheries." Says there's growing concern enough time left.
But diplomat added that EU hopes process can be completed quickly 'once political decisions have been taken in London'. NB Government making similar statements but pointing finger at EU, calling on Brussels to make the political decisions (compromises).
EU diplomat adds that EU will need to 'ramp up' contingency plans now in parallel to still trying to pursue a deal. 'EU needs to prepare for all eventualities'.
EU won't want this deal to fail on technicalities if the content is ever agreed. Possibility being looked at : whether European Parliament can ratify deal in new year (or between Xmas abs new year) as long as EU leaders sign off on deal this year before end of transition.
EU law allows for provisional application of deals under certain circumstances.
Essentially, both sides are still waiting on the other to budge on the three key/core outstanding issues. In other words, there wasn't any significant progress in the past week.
Negotiations will now continue to next week and you can't help but feel that while there may not be much willingness to compromise, there is also some unwillingness to leave discussions and settle for a no-deal outcome.
I reckon come what may in December, there will be some technicality where both sides agree on what looks to be a deal on paper but is not when you actually drill down to the details i.e. a skinny deal where negotiations for the above issues continue into next year.