Von der Leyen addresses European lawmakers during a plenary session at the European Parliament in Brussels. Francisco Seco/AP
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday she saw clear progress in the trade talks with the UK, turning a post-Brexit deal from a fleeting possibility into an ever more realistic possibility.
Von der Leyen confirmed that the major problems had been reduced to just two - fair competition in the EU market and fishing rights for EU vessels in UK waters.
Even though she still spoke only of a “very narrow” path to a deal, she added that nontheless “I can tell you that there is a path to an agreement.” It was still far more optimistic than previous comments coming from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and even any assessment of success over the past months.
“This is now a case of being so close and yet being so far,” von der Leyen told the EU parliament, which will have to approve any deal brokered with the UK.
Britain left the 27-nation bloc in January but for the rest of this year is still in a transition period that kept all trade ties the same with the EU. These talks deal with trading relations between the two sides starting on Jan.1, which makes a tough timeline for the negotiations.
“The clock puts us in a very difficult position,” said von der Leyen.
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay suggested on Sunday that Britain is open to compromise with the EU over new UK proposals for Northern Ireland, but urged Brussels to show “creativity and flexibility.”
The European Union rejected a British government request to allow Brexit talks to run through weekend, The Times newspaper reported bit on Saturday.
Ursula von der Leyen told the EU plenary in Strasbourg, France, shortly before she and her team of commissioners were approved in vote of 461/157 with 89 abstentions , that she would work on "a European Green Deal” so the EU can continue to be a global leader on the climate change issue.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi has categorically denied any ‘backdoor diplomacy’ between Pakistan and India while lauding the role of the UAE leadership for 50 years of brotherly relationship with Pakistan.
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is holding diverse events during Ramadan in line with its customary practice during the Holy month.
The country of 1.3 billion people added a record-high of 261,500 new cases on Sunday, with one-in-six people who underwent tests returning positive coronavirus results, the ministry said.