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No Brexit deal in sight; mini-deals under discussion

File Photo: British Pm May Meets German Chancellor Merkel To Discuss Brexit In Berlin

Britain and the European Union have agreed to pursue ‘mini-deals’ in areas of mutual interest, such as aviation and road transport, even if trade negotiations for a wider deal break down next week, The Times here reported on Saturday.

European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and Britain’s chief negotiator David Frost have agreed that even if a wider deal proves impossible to reach on Oct. 15, contact will continue, The Times said.

In such an event, the two sides would spend November attempting to put together mini-deals to offset the likely disruption when the transition period ends on Dec. 31, the newspaper said, without citing sources.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set a deadline of the Oct. 15 EU summit for a deal, but the two sides are still haggling over a trade deal that would kick in when informal membership ends on Dec. 31.

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and his UK counterpart Lord David Frost will come up with ‘mini-deals’ on key areas – including road transport and aviation. But the area of fisheries will not be part of any mini-deal, sources said, as there is no likelihood of agreement on the subject between the two sides.

It comes ahead of a highly-anticipated European Council summit on October 15, with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson having said he wants the outline of a trade agreement to be in place before it starts – and threatened to walk away if it is not.

Barnier responded to the PM’s ultimatum with an equally definitive stance, warning EU leaders to stand firm over a Brexit trade deal and seek further UK concessions.

Failure to reach any kind of agreement covering Brexit will have dire economic consequences, many  economists have predicted. Such a result would impact GDP in both the UK and across the 27 Member States of the European Union.

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