Talks on a post-Brexit trade deal look set to continue into next week after another weekend of tense negotiations failed to achieve a breakthrough.
After lead negotiators Michel Barnier and Lord Frost met in Brussels on Sunday, a UK Government source said the discussions had been “difficult”.
The source said “significant differences” remained over the key issues of fisheries and the so-called “level playing field rules” on state aid for business.
“Teams have been negotiating throughout the day and expect to continue tomorrow. Talks remain difficult and significant differences remain,” the source said.
“We continue to explore every route to a deal that is in line with the fundamental principles we brought into the negotiations.”
It comas as France banned lorries carrying freight from the UK and countries around the world ended flights amid fears over the new mutant coronavirus strain.
Hauliers were urged to stay away from the area amid warnings of potential problems as the end of the Brexit transition period looms on December 31.
Kent Police said they were implementing Operation Stack in a bid to ease potential congestion, while the Department for Transport said Manston Airport was also being prepared as another contingency measure against the anticipated level of disruption.
Countries including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, and Bulgaria announced restrictions on UK travel following the disclosure that the highly infectious new strain is widespread across south-east England.
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