UK’s Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove on May 17 said that a trade deal was set to be done with the European Union; however, it would require compromise from the bloc. On May 15, both sides called for each other to give ground in post Brexit negations. Brexit was “done” on January 31 even though the UK is still in an 11-month transition period with the 27-nation-bloc.
Speaking to international media, Gover said that issues such as fisheries and so-called “level playing field” rules to ensure fair competition remained sticking points. He further said that they were making it clear to the EU that the UK doesn’t deal with the previously proposed terms. He added that however, he was confident that there was a “deal to be done”. Calling on EU again he said that it required a “flexibility” on the side of the bloc which he was sure “they'll appreciate that they need to show".
On May 15, Britain remarked that the two parties have made “very little progress” towards a post-Brexit deal. David Frost, an adviser to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said in a statement that the major obstacle to the deal is the European Union’s insistence on including a set of “novel and unbalanced proposed on the so-called level-playing field”. Frost criticised the 27-member bloc for demanding access to UK fishing waters saying it is incompatible with Britain’s future status as an independent coastal state. He said that the UK is fully committed to agreeing to the fishing provisions in line with the Political Declaration but can not agree on a deal that is “unbalanced” and against the interests of the UK fishing industry.
“It is hard to understand why the EU insists on an ideological approach which makes it more difficult to reach a mutually beneficial agreement,” said the UK’s chief negotiator. Frost asserted that the UK needs a change in the EU’s approach before the next round of negotiations beginning next month. He said that the UK intends to release all the draft legal texts during next week to facilitate the upcoming discussion and let the member states of the EU and interested observers to see Britain’s approach in detail.