There are just ‘a few hours’ left to agree on a Brexit trade deal


Chief Negotiator for the European Commissions UK Task Force, Michel Barnier.

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LONDON – Britain and the European Union are running out of time to agree on terms on post-Brexit arrangements, the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier has warned.

The two sides have in recent days given conflicting messages on the possibility of a trade deal being agreed to by Britain before it leaves the EU orbit within two weeks.

Addressing the European Parliament in Brussels on Friday, Barnier said the negotiations had reached a “moment of truth”.

“We have little time left, just a few hours, to work through these negotiations in a useful fashion if we want the agreement to go into effect on January 1,” Barner said.

“There is likely to be an agreement but the path to such an agreement is very narrow.”

The deal will likely ensure tariff-free goods trade between the UK and the European Union after 31 December, but major disputes over issues such as fisheries continue to spark discussions in recent weeks.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyne both hit the downtown tone following a phone call Thursday night, with a deal likely to be struck with Johnson unless to make a concession on block fisheries Was not ready Meanwhile, von der Leyen admitted that an agreement at this stage would be “very challenging”.

Von der Leyen announced just one day after the announcement that a “narrow path” had emerged for both parties to agree on an agreement before the deadline.

Sterling, which had been rallying in recent days on rising optimism that a damaging “no deal” scenario could be avoided, fell 0.3% against the dollar during morning trade in London on Friday, just $ 1.3540 Changing hands above.

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