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By Gabriela Baczynska
BRUSSELS, Nov 16 (.) – A senior European Union official said on Monday that “it may already be too late” to launch a trade deal with Britain before its informal membership in the bloc expires at the end of the year. whether Brexit negotiators strike a deal this week or next.
Ireland, the EU member most exposed to Britain’s exit from the bloc, said earlier in the day that London and Brussels have 10 days to unblock talks to prevent the imposition of fees and quotas from January 1. of 2021, affecting an estimated trade in 1 trillion dollars annually.
“They are not yet where they thought they were,” said one of the EU diplomats following Brexit as talks between the EU negotiator, Michel Barnier, and his British counterpart, David Frost, resumed in Brussels.
A senior EU diplomat, who also asked to remain anonymous, added: “Britain has to make decisions.”
A third diplomatic source stated: “It cannot be said that things have not moved, as the negotiators are writing a legal text together. So there is some movement. But there is still a long way to go.”
“The level playing field, governance and fisheries (issues are still pending. These are serious decisions for the UK to make,” he said.
As Brexit negotiators continue to seek mutually acceptable solutions on the three most contentious issues, the senior EU official said it may already be too late for ratification by the European Parliament, even if a deal is achieved this week or the next.
“It is getting too late and it might even be too late,” the official said, adding that the 27 nations that make up the EU will decide the next steps once Barnier and Frost seal a pact, if they succeed.
(Edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)