Calgary Herald - - PANDEMIC -

BRUS­SELS Euro­pean Union lead­ers will refuse to in­ter­vene to save the dead­locked Brexit trade talks, diplo­mats in Brus­sels warned as the bloc tough­ened its stance over what it sees as Bri­tish time-wast­ing in ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Michel Barnier, the EU’S chief ne­go­tia­tor, told EU am­bas­sadors meet­ing in Brus­sels that the United Kingdom was try­ing to re­nege on its legally bind­ing With­drawal Agree­ment com­mit­ments, and non-bind­ing un­der­tak­ing in the Po­lit­i­cal Dec­la­ra­tion on the trade talks.

Phil Ho­gan, the EU’S trade com­mis­sioner, said in Dublin Wed­nes­day: “We’re 450 mil­lion peo­ple in the EU. There’s about 60 to 70 mil­lion in the U.K. Size mat­ters in trade.

“(We) need a lot more in­ten­sive en­gage­ment than we’ve seen in the last few weeks and months to have a deal by the end of the year. We need to get on with the job.”

The warn­ings come ahead of next week’s round of trade ne­go­ti­a­tions.

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