EU and British negotiators will report on Friday on the progress of the new relationship. This week marks the last agreed round of negotiations ahead of the mid-term review in the summer, which is due to look at the state of negotiations.
Discussions on the new relationship have progressed stickily in previous rounds, and little progress has been made. The parties have had significant disagreements on many key points of the trade agreement.
The negotiations are to agree on how EU-UK trade and other relations will be organized after a transitional period ending at the end of the year.
One of the stumbling blocks is the question of commitment to EU regulation. The EU wants to maintain a level playing field guaranteed by EU rules. There is no such commitment for Britain, but the country would like to shake off any kind of EU regulation.
Britain has called the EU's demand ideological and seen it as an obstacle to the progress of the negotiations.
The EU believes that Britain has lacked ambition in the negotiations.
More time for extra time
At least the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, is expected to report on the week's harvest this afternoon. According to the negotiating agenda, trade relations, fisheries and energy issues have been discussed this week.
Following this week's negotiations, progress is due to be reviewed at the EU-Britain summit, which is a kind of mid-term review of the negotiation process.
This month, Britain also still has the opportunity to seek an extension of the transition period that began after the realization of Brexit.
Britain withdrew from the EU at the end of January. The transition period has made it possible, for example, for trade between Britain and the EU to continue as before.
If an agreement on the future relationship is not completed by the end of the year and no additional time is requested, there will be a slowdown in trade as the EU moves to trade with Britain under WTO rules.