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Brexit Taken Off Agenda For EU Envoys' Meeting Due To Stalled Talks

By Donna Ahern
Brexit Taken Off Agenda For EU Envoys' Meeting Due To Stalled Talks

A discussion about the negotiations over Britain and the European Union's post-Brexit relationship has been dropped from the agenda of a meeting of EU envoys next week because the talks have stalled, an EU diplomat recently said.

Earlier, The Guardian reported that the issue would not be discussed at a meeting of ambassadors from the EU's 27 member states, though diplomats said this referred to a regular meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives due on 2 September.

EU officials now believe the British government is prepared to risk a no-deal exit when the transition period comes to an end on 31 December, and will try to pin the blame on Brussels if talks fail, the Guardian report said.

The German government, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU council, had intended to discuss Brexit during the meeting, but dropped it because there had not been 'any tangible progress' in the talks, the report said, citing an EU diplomat.

An EU diplomat with knowledge of the agenda confirmed that Brexit had been removed after last week's round of talks between London and Brussels made little headway.

Call For Deal

Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, on Wednesday repeated his call for a deal with Britain on future ties by the end of October.

He told Reuters on the sidelines of an employers' conference in Paris that he had no plans to meet his British counterpart, David Frost, this week, before adding, "But perhaps next week, if conditions allow."

Disagreements over state aid rules and fishing quotas have so far thwarted a deal, which the EU says must be in the making in time to be approved at a summit of the bloc's 27 national leaders on 15-16 October to enable ratification this year.

Beyond the biggest stumbling blocks, differences also linger in discussions on migration, security, dispute-settling mechanisms, human rights guarantees and other areas.

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

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