(Adds further comments and background)
BRUSSELS, Sept 11 (Reuters) - Britain rejects the suggestion
by the European Union that it has not engaged with Brussels on
talks over a future relationship, a British source said on
"We don't recognise the suggestion that we've not engaged,
we've been engaged in talks pretty consistently for many months
now," said the source, on condition of anonymity.
"The problem is the EU seems to define engagement as
accepting large elements of their position rather than being
engaged in discussions."
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said on Thursday after
talks in London that the 27-nation bloc Britain left on Jan. 31
was stepping up plans for a no-deal Brexit at the end of this
year because trade talks had made little progress.
He said Britain had "not engaged in a reciprocal way on
fundamental EU principles and interests".
The UK source said Britain had proposed "robust, open and
fair" guarantees for a level-playing field on competition, and
said it was "baffled" by suggestions that it had not engaged on
other issues such as dispute settlements and law enforcement.
The lack of progress in talks on the relationship between
the EU and the UK after a status-quo transition period ends on
Dec. 31 came against a backdrop of tension over the British
government's plans to break terms of its Withdrawal Agreement.
The EU has given Britain an end of September deadline to
make a u-turn and respect the treaty, but Britain has said it
will press on with its proposed internal market bill because its
parliament is sovereign above international law.
(Reporting by John Chalmers)