UK, EU to debate post-Brexit free commerce deal in the present day

London, October 2

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will “take stock” of negotiations on a post-Brexit free trade deal on Saturday, officials said.

The announcement by both sides came as they were winding up another week-long session of detailed negotiations on a rudimentary free trade agreement that should come in force once a Brexit transition period ends December 31.

Little progress has been made on such a deal since the UK left the bloc in January-end. Both sides have acknowledged that time is running out if they are to achieve an agreement before the current Brexit transition period comes to an end at the end of the year.

Johnson has said he is prepared to walk away from the negotiations if there is no agreement by the time of the next EU summit on October 15. The EU sees a deadline at the end of the month.

Complicating the trade talks further are Britain’s plans to breach an international agreement it signed with the EU to regulate trade on the island of Ireland. — AP

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