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Brexit trade deal could happen today: reports

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A Brexit trade deal between the EU and the UK could be imminent, according to reports in various media citing senior EU sources.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are believed to have been in direct contact, as various media report, and a final call scheduled for Wednesday evening is “likely to be the moment that a deal is announced,” The Guardian wrote.

EU diplomats could be slated to meet on Thursday to ratify the agreement if a deal is announced, both The Guardian and The Independent report.

AFP reports that EU sources say a deal could be reached “within hours,” and sources in London have also confirmed their belief the talks were headed for a deal, according to The Guardian.

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While an EU official said that “it is crunch time,” according to the BBC, they added that “talk of a deal announcement is premature.”

Negotiations between EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and his British counterpart David Frost, along with their respective teams, started in March after Brexit left the EU at the end of January.

The country remains part of the EU’s single market and customs union until 31 December in a transition phase. After it ends, should no agreement be reached, World Trade Organisation rules will apply between the EU and the UK, meaning higher tariffs and extensive customs controls.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times