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EU: London trade deal talks at their most critical time

A deal on the future trade relationship between Britain and the EU after Brexit could finally be reached this weekend, senior EU officials said in Brussels today, quoted by Reuters.
But London says talks are still going “very hard” and that it is determined “to take back control” from the EU after leaving it 10 months ago, BTA reports.

Just about four weeks before the UK finally exits EU orbit on December 31, an unnamed senior EU official told Reuters that reaching a deal was “imminent,” but another said it was unclear when that might happen.

But after the talks in London last night got stuck, British officials took a less optimistic tone. “There are still some obstacles to overcome. Time is very short and negotiations are at a very difficult time,” a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters. It is certain that we will not be able to accept an agreement that does not respect our fundamental principles of sovereignty and of taking back our control, “he added.

For weeks, EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier and his British counterpart, David Frost, have been discussing fisheries, state aid and ways to resolve future disputes in order to achieve a comprehensive trade agreement that governs trade between the EU and the UK kingdom, amounting to nearly $1 trillion a year.

The EU has put London in the face of the dilemma of deciding what future it wants for itself outside the common market and customs union after its 47-year membership, Reuters noted. “The real question is what political, economic, social project they want for their future,” European Council President Charles Michel said. “This is the issue facing the British government and the British people,” he added.

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