Raab suggests today’s Brexit deadline could slip with ‘long way’ to go to deal

 Raab suggests today’s Brexit deadline could slip with ‘long way’ to go to deal

Post-Brexit trade talks between the UK and EU could slip beyond tonight’s deadline, the foreign secretary has suggested.

Speaking to Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday, Dominic Raab said “I can’t close the door” on that possibility but admitted “there is still a long way to go” before an agreement is possible.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to hold a phone call with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at 11am GMT.

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Both leaders have said today is when they will decide either to carry on trade talks or abandon them.

Officials started work again in Brussels on Sunday morning but the chief negotiators left after an hour.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - DECEMBER 09: Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen meet for a dinner during they will try to reach a breakthrough on a post-Brexit trade deal on December 9, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium. The British prime minister's visit marked his most high-profile involvement in the talks over a post-Brexit trade deal, which has remained elusive despite months of EU and UK negotiating teams shuttling between London and Brussels. (Photo by Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Mr Johnson and Ms von der Leyen will speak on the phone today

Mr Raab suggested the negotiations could carry on – as the clock ticks down to 31 December when the transition period ends.

“If we’re 99% there on the outstanding issues, you wouldn’t want to leave any stone un-turned, but I think it’s quite a high bar,” he said.

Mr Raab, who said earlier this week that Sunday would be a “point of finality”, added now it is getting to the “eleventh hour” so what needs to happen is “moving the political logjam”.

“That can only happen at the political level of prime minister and Commissioner Von der Leyen,” he explained.

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Redak staff

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