Brexit trade talks were halted on Friday night amid “critical” differences between the European Union and the UK.
As it is time to reach a trade agreement, European Commission President Ursula von Der Lane and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will speak on Saturday.
Michael Barnier, the EU’s chief contractor, said: “After a week of intense discussions in London with David Frost, we have agreed today that we are not complying with the terms of a contract due to significant differences in level playing field, governance and fisheries.”
He said they agreed to briefly suspend the discussion each year.
Barnier said Miss Von der Lane and Mr Johnson will discuss the state of the game on Saturday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, Taoist Michel Martin warned that Barnier needed to make room for an end to the crisis-ridden Brexit trade talks this weekend.
He made the remarks amid reports that France and some other member states had told EU negotiators not to agree too much with the UK to secure the deal. The Brexit transition period is just 27 days away, which could lead to a major financial collapse if no agreement is reached on the trade within days.
The main attraction in recent times has revolved around the fishing rights of EU countries in British waters after Brexit.
Another important EU requirement is the so-called ‘level playing field’. Although Martin did not mention the specific member states in his statement, he said: “Some countries are pressuring us to seek more information, but we are 27 member states and we are negotiating together.
“We have appointed a discussion team. We need to allow space now to end these negotiations, and … get a deal. ”
On Friday night Downing Street uttered a pessimistic note. A spokesman for the British Prime Minister Johnson said talks were at a critical juncture.
The week was expected to see the possibility of a deal on the horizon, but progress stalled on Thursday.
The Press Association reported that senior UK officials had claimed that Brussels was demanding new concessions at 11 a.m. and that the possibility of a deal was “diminishing”.
A spokesman for Johnson said “we cannot accept an agreement that does not respect our basic principles of sovereignty, fisheries and regulation.”
“Our discussion team is working hard to resolve the remaining gaps.”
Charles Michel, President of the European Council in Brussels, said: “We will see what happens in the next few days, but the end of December is the end of December … we need more clarity as soon as possible.”
“There are strong discussions going on between the two sides,” Martin told reporters. He added: “My impression is that this will continue over the weekend and there will be more engagement.”
Taoich said: “I sincerely hope there will be a deal.
He added: “I have confidence in Michael Barnier and Ursula von Der Lane, the President of the European Union Discussion Team.”