Negotiations between Britain and the EU could continue into November, French minister Clément Beaune said Sunday, as the bloc prepares to take stock of progress on a trade deal at a key summit of EU leaders starting Thursday.
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“There needs to be an agreement in the coming weeks. That means around the beginning of November,” the junior minister for European affairs told FranceInfo radio. “We must not lose our calm in the final days of negotiations because that is sometimes when bad concessions are made.”
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously set October 15 as a firm deadline for concluding talks on a future trade relationship between London and Brussels, and talks will continue next week. EU leaders meet in Brussels for a European Council summit Thursday and Friday with Brexit on the agenda.
The EU has over the past days sought to strike a compromise on fisheries, with chief negotiator Michel Barnier calling ministers in search of wiggle room.
Beaune’s remarks come after Johnson spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday.
A Downing Street spokesperson said Johnson had “emphasized” the need for progress on “fisheries and the level playing field, through the process of intensive talks between Chief Negotiators agreed with the President of the European Commission.”