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The two sides met again in London to conduct talks but as of yet, have not agreed a Brexit deal with the issues of fisheries and state aid remaining. Although the EU agreed to intensify talks in pursuit of a deal, Mr Michel claimed he could not be sure if a deal will now be agreed in time. Commenting on talks, Mr Michel said: “Will we get a deal? I don’t know, it will depend on what will be on the table.
Michel Barnier will now remain in London to conduct talks until Thursday before resuming negotiations in Brussels.
It is though, the EU’s negotiator will open talks on fisheries today in order to help facilitate a wide agreement.
Both sides are now though to be in the tunnel phase of talks where they conduct negotiations away from media scrutiny.
Within the phase, it is thought the two sides will try to agree on the final details of any agreement.
The EU had initially set the end of this month for a deal to be agreed, but EU sources are now indicating mid-November as the absolute deadline.
In order for a deal to be agreed, the UK has insisted Brussels must budge on its demands over fisheries.
EU states want continued access to Britain’s waters, similar to what was had under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).
The CFP gave EU fishermen equal access to coastal waters within the EU’s exclusive economic zone – exploiting the UK’s large and rich coastal area.
Mr Michel added: “It is not a surprise. You know what are the most difficult topics, and we are working to try to find solutions on the most difficult topics.”
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7.43am update: Post-Brexit deal “likely” says Simon Coveney
Ireland’s foreign affairs minister, Simon Coveney, has claimed a deal between the EU and UK is likely.
He did, add, however, that talks are now at a challenging time.
He said: “We’ve got to be ready for January 1, there’s going to be no more extensions of time, no more transition periods.
“Time is up at the end of the year.
“We’re likely to get a deal but it won’t be easy.”
7.21am update: Brexit talks now in most difficult stage
Speaking yesterday, the EU Council President, Charles Michel, claimed negotiations now are at the most crucial and difficult stage.
The two sides have now entered ‘tunnel talks’ away from media scrutiny but the areas of divergence, namely security, state aid and fisheries remain.
The EU has now set the middle of next month as a deadline but despite that, Mr Michel could not be sure if a deal will be agreed.
He said: “In my opinion it’s very clear that it is necessary to work seriously, which is what we are trying to do, with full trust for Michel Barnier and his team, and we will assess in the next days or in the next weeks, when we consider it is time to assess, what is the result of the talks that are ongoing.
“We all know that in all negotiations, the last and final decisions are the most difficult.
“Will we get a deal? I don’t know, it will depend on what will be on the table.
“But we are working in order to make sure all member states are well informed, are involved in the process in order to make sure there is confidence – which is key in order to able to decide.”
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