UK NEWS: ‘Time is too short’ said Britain as Barnier of the EU heads to London

LONDON / BRUSSEL – Britain on Monday said it was too short to close key gaps in key areas of negotiations with the European Union, as EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier headed to London for further talks.

The United Kingdom left the European Union in January but the two sides are trying to reach an agreement that will cost about a trillion dollars in trade each year before the end of the informal membership transition on December 31.

After pausing for a moment as London leaves the negotiating table, the two sides are now meeting daily to try to find common ground.

At risk are the smooth flow of cross-border trade and the more serious equilibrium damage that can result from instability in areas such as sharing data security and research and development partnerships.

Barnier and his EU team will be in London until Wednesday, after which talks will shift to Brussels and continue until the weekend, a EU spokesman said.

EU diplomats were not expected to be kept informed of the progress of the series of talks until the end of the week.

Johnson told reporters he was “very happy” that he would talk to the EU again, but did not give new clues about the possibility of an agreement: “We will see where we go.”

Since negotiations resumed last week, British ministers said real progress had been made and that there was a good chance a deal could be reached. On Sunday, Ireland’s Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said there could be an agreement on tax evasion.

After some progress in the verification of competition including state aid laws, the most difficult issue remains fishing – Johnson has insisted on restoring power to British waters as the EU seeks access.

While Britain insists it can prosper without a treaty, British companies are facing a wall of officials threatening cross-border chaos if they want to sell to a large business around the world when the post-Brexit life begins on January 1.

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