Brexit LIVE: 'Too late!' Boris Johnson blames EU for missing key trade talks deadline

The UK missed Tuesday’s deadline to hand in 28 regulatory equivalency assessments to the EU relating to Britain’s financial service industry – a crucial sticking point in current trade negotiations. Brussels needs to use these documents to conclude whether it grants the city of London lucrative access to EU markets when the transition period ends on December 31, 2020. Earlier this week, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier was left furious after confirming the UK had not completed the necessary equivalence assessments.

He said in a statement: “As you know, the political declaration committed us to ‘best endeavours’ to finalise our respective assessments by the end of June.

“The European Commission has therefore sent questionnaires to the UK, covering 28 areas where equivalence assessments are possible. So far, the UK has only answered four of these questionnaires. So we are not there yet.”

But the UK has instead blamed Brussels for the missed deadline, with the Government claiming it received the 1,000-plus pages of questions in April and May, with the last 248 pages arriving on May 25.

Boris Johnson’s official spokesman insisted: “We have completed our own proportionate and thorough assessment of the EU on time.

“What we are doing is returning over 1,000 pages of questionnaires that were sent by the EU to the UK late.

“These are straightforward assessments as we start from having similar rules and a history of co-operation and we are ready to reach comprehensive findings of equivalence once the EU has clarified its position.”

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