Business & Economy

Brexit talks hit ‘difficult point’ as clock ticks

London, Dec 4 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom government on Friday said negotiations on a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union had hit a “very difficult point” but insisted an agreement could be made by the end of the weekend.

Prime minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman told the press that some issues like fishing quotas were still a sticking point in the discussions.

Downing Street sources told Efe that talks between the UK team and the EU, led by Michel Barnier, would run into the weekend if necessary.

Johnson is due to travel to his official countryside residence Chequers this weekend, but would be “in regular contact” with the negotiators, the spokesman added.

“There are still some issues to overcome. Time is in very short supply, and we’re at a very difficult point in the talks,” he told the media.

A post-Brexit deal is due to be in place by 1 January, after the official transition period, triggered earlier this year, comes to an end.

The spokesman said the UK would not accept a deal that “doesn’t represent our fundamental principles on sovereignty and taking back control.”

The latest announcement from the UK government comes after France said it could unilaterally veto a post-Brexit trade deal if it deemed it disadvantageous.

“If there were a deal that isn’t good, which in our evaluation doesn’t correspond to those interests, we will oppose it,” French secretary for European affairs, Clément Beaune, told Europe 1 radio.

London and Brussels are trying to overcome substantial differences on common fisheries policies, business competition regulation and the future governance of the trade deal.

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