A free trade agreement acceptable to both the UK and EU must be top of the agenda when Brexit talks resume next week, the FTA has urged.

On the eve of further negotiations over the future of the relationship between the UK and other European countries, concerns are growing that consensus will not be reached before the 31 December deadline.

Sarah Laouadi, FTA European policy manager said: “The UK has outlined its proposed free trade agreement, which the EU has had time to consider.

“On behalf of those responsible for manufacturing and moving goods on both sides of the border, we are urging both sides to approach next week’s round of discussions in an open and welcoming manner, to ensure that progress can be made on reaching a consensus that benefits both sides.”

Concerns have already been raised that Covid-19 has thrown plans to exit the EU by the end of the year into doubt, with large numbers of freight forwarders calling for an extension to the transition period if no trade deal is agreed.

Laouadi added: “The EU and UK have a highly interdependent supply chain, which affects so many businesses on both sides of the Channel, and our members are keen that this week’s negotiations ensure that the work that is done by so many businesses to trade effectively can continue without interruption.”