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Taoiseach Says EU-UK Free-Trade Deal Possible By End-2020

It may be possible to negotiate a new free-trade deal between Britain and the European Union by the end of next year if it does not diverge significantly from current trading terms, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said.

"In terms of negotiating a trade agreement before December 2020, I think that is difficult but not impossible" if Britain ratifies its EU withdrawal agreement by its current 31 January deadline, Varadkar told journalists in Dublin.

"The more like the status quo, the quicker it will be," Varadkar said, but added that ratification by 27 member states may not be possible by the end of 2020, the scheduled end of a proposed Brexit transition phase.

News by Reuters, edited by Checkout. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.

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