'UK could face no Brexit trade deal this year as deadline looms,' admits Eustice

30 November 2020, 10:36 | Updated: 30 November 2020, 10:41

By Fiona Jones

Environment Secretary George Eustice has admitted that unless the UK finalises its Brexit trade deal within the next week, "there'll be no negotiated outcome this year."

The UK is in the "last leg" of negotiations over a post-Brexit trade deal, however the EU however must show "flexibility and pragmatism," Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told LBC's Tom Swarbrick on Swarbrick on Sunday.

The talks are now depending on resolving a "fairly narrow" set of issues, including fishing rights, according to Mr Raab.

This comes after multiple rounds of stalemate talks between the two sides, as the 2020 deadline nears.

Nick Ferrari put this to Mr Eustice, asking him for clarity on the progress of the deal.

"This is a very crucial week...the text has been drafted but there are still some sticking points such as state aid rules, such as fishing that we need to work through," the environment secretary responded.

"Time is running out... it really is now the case that unless we can get some kind of agreement within the next week to ten days, time really starts to run out and we will just have to take a view that there won't be a further negotiated outcome by the end of the year," he said.

The two sides are attempting to strike an agreement over their trading relationship after the UK's post-Brexit transition period ends on 31 December.

Face-to-face discussions resumed in London over the weekend, after chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier left self-isolation following a colleague's positive Covid-19 test last week.

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