More work needed on Brexit deal, Euro­pean Union ne­go­tia­tors say

Oman Daily Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

BRUS­SELS: Euro­pean Union ne­go­tia­tors told na­tional en­voys that they need more work yet to close a Brexit deal with Bri­tain, diplo­mats fa­mil­iar with the brief­ing said. One de­scribed the up­date on the state of play be mem­bers of Euro­pean Com­mis­sion ne­go­tia­tor Michel Barnier’s team as “sober” and free of “drama”. “More talks to be had,” summed up an­other.

Barnier’s deputy Sabine Weyand held fur­ther talks with Oliver Rob­bins, the lead ne­go­tia­tor for Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May dur­ing the day, EU of­fi­cials said, and more dis­cus­sions were planned for Sun­day, keeping up an in­tense pace.

Both sides have closed in on a deal but re­main dead­locked over clauses aimed at avoid­ing dis­rup­tion on the Ir­ish bor­der — an is­sue that is di­vid­ing May’s govern­ment and jeop­ar­dis­ing her abil­ity to get any agree­ment through the Bri­tish par­lia­ment.

“The ball con­tin­ues to be in the UK’S court,” said a third EU diplo­mat, stress­ing that the Union had al­ready given Lon­don many op­tions and that it needed now to make up its mind.

Bri­tain is due to leave the Euro­pean Union in March, with or with­out a deal to smooth the process which will sep­a­rate the world’s fifth big­gest econ­omy from its big­gest trad­ing part­ners. — Reuters

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