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Iran Press TV

UK and EU officials issue complex messaging on post-Brexit trade deal

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 15 November 2020 6:48 PM

As post-Brexit trade talks between the UK and the European Union (EU) reach make or break time, a leading British minister says outstanding differences "can be resolved" and a deal "can be done".

Environment Secretary, George Eustice, claimed somewhat vaguely in an interview with the BBC's Andrew Marr show that "agreement exists" between the two parties.

But hours earlier, in an interview with Sky News, Eustice struck a more pessimistic note by claiming that there is still some distance between the British and EU negotiating sides and that "time is very, very short".

Also talking to Sky News was the Irish Foreign Minister, Simon Coveney, who said it is vital that talks "make big progress" in the coming week.

Speaking to Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday show, Coveney claimed that securing a post-Brexit trade agreement is "difficult but also very doable".

On a more ominous note, Coveney said that the consequences of failure in the talks are "significant".

The complex messaging of Eustice and Coveney comes ahead of the resumption of negotiations in Brussels on Monday (November 16).

The UK's chief negotiator, Lord David Frost, who has already arrived in Brussels, tweeted that there had been "some progress in a positive direction in recent days".

But echoing the complex messaging of Eustice and Coveney, Frost wrote that the two sides "may not succeed" in securing a lasting deal.

The Brexit transition period is set to expire on December 31, and absent a deal the UK and EU will be forced to trade on World Trade Organization terms.

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