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UPDATED: EU trade negotiators to update member states on Brexit on Friday

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EU negotiators are due to update envoys of the bloc’s 27 member states on the latest in trade talks with Britain at 0700 GMT on Friday, two diplomatic sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

Brexit update has been added to the agenda of EU Brussels ambassadors meeting but the sources said the negotiating team of Michel Barnier could still cancel the closed-door briefing depending on how talks with the UK are going.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said on Wednesday  that Britain hopes to get a Brexit trade deal but the European Union must understand that it is now dealing with a sovereign nation.

“I hope that we will end up with a free trade agreement,” Sharma told Sky. “We have made progress but there is still some way to go and we need to make sure that the EU understands that the UK is a sovereign nation and that’s the basis on which our arrangement with the EU is in the future.”

Later on Wednesday, the EU’s Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said that Britain and the European Union are in the last moments to reach a trade deal that would regulate their relationship after Britain’s transition period ends on Jan 1, 2021.

Dombrovskis would not speculate about any deadlines for ending the trade talks, saying the only deadline that could not be moved was Jan 1, 2021, when Britain’s transition period after its exit from the EU earlier this year end

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