Time racing by for Brexit deal

By Laura Zornoza

Brussels, Nov 15 (efe-epa).- Time is ticking for Brexit negotiations to conclude but so far each decisive round of talks has struggled to make ground on the last.

The latest round of discussion is to kick off in Brussels on Monday after talks in London, which concluded Friday, made little progress.

Deadlines for a future deal are tumbling as the United Kingdom nears the precipitous official exit date at midnight on 31 December 2020.

Both London and Brussels previously said they believed it possible to land a signed and sealed the future deal by mid-October.

That date arrived, and there was no deal. The negotiating parties ignored the deadline they had both agreed to and opted instead to “intensify” discussions and try to have an agreement by the end of October.

The end of October came and went without a deal. Talks, which are alternating between venues in London and Brussels, remain hung up on several key issues, including fishing policy, financial regulation and justice.

One deadline that is not arbitrary is 1 January 2021, when the UK will disentangle itself from the bloc.

Without a future deal in place, London will automatically default to World Trade Organisation tariffs in its dealings with EU members.

The UK is leaving one of the biggest trading blocs in the world. The EU has 44 trade deals in place, covering 76 countries, which accounts for a third of its foreign trade as of 2019.

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