Brexit news: Boris Johnson admits ‘substantial differences’ remain as EU warns time running out

Conrad Duncan and Samuel Osborne
·1-min read

Boris Johnson has admitted that “substantial differences” remain in trade talks over a post-Brexit deal with the EU as the two negotiating teams prepare to resume discussions in London this weekend.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, reportedly told a closed-door meeting for national diplomats in the bloc on Friday that he was not able to say yet whether a trade deal with the UK would be ready in time for the end of the year.

The talks between the UK and the EU have been stalled for months over the issues of fishing rights, the governance of any deal and the “level playing field” conditions aimed at preventing unfair competition between the two sides.

It came as Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon revealed she wanted to hold a second Scottish independence referendum as soon as next year.

Ms Sturgeon said she thought a second referendum should take place “in the earlier part” of the next Scottish parliament, which will begin in 2021.