EU says still far apart with Britain on fisheries, state aid in trade talks

FILE PHOTO: European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen gives a news briefing at the end of a virtual conference with EU leaders about EU government's measures against the coronavirus disease (COVID19) crisis, in Brussels, Belgium, October 29, 2020. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - There has been some progress in talks on a future trade relationship between Britain and the European Union, but both sides are still far apart on fisheries and state aid for companies, the head of the European Commission said on Saturday.

Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter she agreed in a phone call with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that negotiating teams on both sides would continue to work hard on a deal next week as time is running out to reach and ratify an agreement before Britain’s transition period ends at the end of this year.

“We took stock of the negotiations with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson today. Some progress has been made, but large differences remain especially on level playing field and fisheries,” von der Leyen said.

“Our teams will continue working hard next week. We will remain in close contact in the next days,” she said.

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski