the European Union and Britain worked through the night and right into Christmas Eve to put the finishing touches on a trade deal that should avert a chaotic economic break between the two sides on New Year’s Day.After resolving the remaining fair-competition and almost all fisheries issues on Wednesday, negotiators combed through hundreds of pages of legal text that should become the blueprint for a post-Brexit relationship.As during much of the nine-month negotiations, the issue of EU fleets in British waters proved the most intractable and divisive, with negotiators still haggling over quotas for some individual species as dawn came.Still sources on both sides said the long and difficult negotiations were on the cusp of being wrapped up as negotiators, holed up at EU headquarters in Brussels with a stack of pizzas, worked to deliver the text to their leaders on Thursday.Irish foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney said there appeared to be “some sort of last-minute hitch” over fish, but that it was not surprising. He said he expected announcements of a deal from London and Brussels “later on today.”Everyone awaited appearances by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to announce the deal. The… Read full this story
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