Cyprus Mail

EU, Britain making ‘very limited’ progress in talks – Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a session of the lower house of parliament

The European Union and Britain have made “very limited” progress in negotiations about their future relationship, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday, adding there was still a possibility that no deal would be agreed.

“Progress in talks is, to put it cautiously, very limited,” Merkel told parliament during a Q&A session.

“We have agreed with Britain to speed up the talks in order to seal a deal in autumn that must be ratified by the end of the year,” she said but added that Germany and the EU “must be prepared… for the possibility that a deal doesn’t materialise.”

Britain left the bloc on January 31. A transition period, during which Britain remains in the European single market and customs union, expires on December 31 and pressure is mounting to agree a free trade deal before then.

With the two sides still far apart, a round of “intensified negotiations” is scheduled for this week.

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