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Brexit: EU, UK Say Big Differences Remain
By Staff, Agencies
The European Union [EU] and Britain said on Friday there were still substantial differences over a Brexit trade deal as the EU chief negotiator prepared to travel to London in a last-ditch attempt to avoid a tumultuous finale to the five-year Brexit crisis.
With just five weeks left until the United Kingdom finally exits the EU's orbit on December 31, both sides are calling on the other to compromise over fishing, state aid and how to resolve any future disputes.
The two sides will shortly resume face-to-face negotiations after they had to be suspended last week when one of EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier's team tested positive for the coronavirus.
"Clearly there are substantial and important differences still to be bridged but we're getting on with it," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters.
"The likelihood of a deal is very much determined by our friends and partners in the EU -- there's a deal there to be done if they want to do it."
Barnier said on Twitter he would travel to London on Friday evening for talks with Britain's chief negotiator David Frost.
"Same significant divergences persist," Barnier said.
The talks are still snagged on three main issues -- fishing, state aid and dispute resolution -- but neither side has so far shown a willingness to shift enough on them to allow a breakthrough.
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