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EU-Australia deal more complicated after sub dispute – EU lawmaker

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Australia’s scrapping of a submarine order with France has made a planned EU-Australia trade agreement more complicated, although negotiations should continue, the chair of the trade committee of the European Parliament said on Monday.

“I guess this will not lead to stopping negotiations and talks with Australia, but they will be much more complicated,” Bernd Lange told a briefing.

Lange said the willingness of EU countries and France in particular to compromise in trade talks, notably on agriculture, was likely to be “quite limited”. 

European Union foreign ministers will on Monday discuss Australia’s scrapping of a $40 billion submarine order with France, a move that has enraged Paris and cast a shadow over free trade talks between the EU and Australia.

The meeting will take place on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York at 2200 GMT, a spokesperson for the European Commission told reporters in Brussels.

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