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Brexit talks at impasse on three key issues, EU diplomat says

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Talks between the European Union and the United Kingdom to reach a deal on their future relationship are still snagged on the three key issues of fishing, level playing field and governance of their agreement, an EU official said.

“We want to be reassured on these three topics … we see no movement on the other side of the Channel,” the official said, referring to Britain, adding that an agreement on dispute settlement mechanisms was critical to be able to trust London.

Top EU officials in Brussels told Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a call on Wednesday evening that Britain had to move in their talks on a new trade partnership after Brexit.

“We pressed again for progress to be made at the negotiation table,” Charles Michel, president of the European Council, said after the call, which also included the head of the bloc’s executive. It was held on the eve of a Brussels summit of the 27 national EU leaders to discuss Brexit.

An extraordinary European Union summit on Brexit is not expected in November ahead of the end-year deadline for an agreement on the future relationship between the bloc and Britain, an EU official said on Wednesday.

“We’re at a fairly critical point because we’re coming up to a deadline if this is to come into force on the first of January,” the official said. “At this stage, though, it wouldn’t be justified. We don’t expect a special summit.”

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