Brexit talks progressing well, says Ursula Von der Leyen | Politics

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Trade and security negotiations between the UK and the EU are progressing well, said Ursula von der Leyen in the most optimistic comments to date on the state of Brexit negotiations.As negotiations moved to Brussels after seven days in London, the President of the European Commission said: “We are progressing well but [there are] two critical issues: a level playing field and fishing, [where] we would like to see more progress.

“We are in very close contact every hour as negotiations have now intensified… There are 11 other areas of cases that need to be negotiated.” his comments come after Downing Street said last week the talks were over.

The outstanding issues are the level of access to UK waters that the UK will provide to EU fishing fleets, the fair competition rules for businesses, including the rules on national subsidies, and the final treaty to resolve future disputes.

Von der Leyen, who was speaking after a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, said negotiators would work in depth on how to build a dispute settlement mechanism that would allow each party to suspend certain parties of the agreement in the event of a manifest breach of obligations.

European Council President Charles Michel said the state of negotiations would likely be assessed next week, with Brussels hoping to start the ratification process in mid-November. Comments will be warmly received by Boris Johnson after a few stormy weeks.

Trudeau also spoke positively of extending the current terms of the trade deal Canada has with the EU to ensure the UK continues to benefit after the transition period. Under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada, 95% of covered imports are duty free and quota free.

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