EU, Britain Make Last Attempt for Post-Brexit Trade Deal 

Chief negotiators of the European Union and Britain are meeting in Brussels Sunday in a last-ditch attempt to overcome the differences and reach a post-Brexit trade deal. With Britain’s end-of-year departure from the EU quickly approaching, the EU’s Michel Barnier and Britain’s David Frost have until the evening to hammer out a framework governing trade between the two entities. At stake is Britain’s quest for zero-tariff and zero-quota access to the EU’s single market. Stumbling blocks include fishing rights and penalties Britain would face for violating the EU’s fair competition rules. “We want to be treated like any other independent self-respecting democracy. If the EU can accept that at a political level, then there’s every reason to be confident but there is still, I think, a long way to go,” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said early Sunday on Sky News TV.    FILE – European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcomes British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Brussels, Belgium, Dec. 9, 2020.Meanwhile, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson are expected to talk later Sunday to decide whether to continue or abandon negotiations, a spokesman for British government said. “The prime minister will leave no stone unturned in this process, but he is absolutely clear: any agreement must be fair and respect the fundamental position that the UK will be a sovereign nation in three weeks’ time,” a British source said as the talks were in progress Saturday. A no-deal Brexit would be economically disruptive in Britain, across Europe and beyond.        

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