UK to explore all avenues for deal with EU, Prime Minister Johnson told Macron in France

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FILE PHOTO: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy (not shown) at Downing Street in London, Britain October 8, 2020. Aaron Chown / Pool via REUTERS / File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will explore all avenues for a trade deal with the European Union, but progress to close important gaps must be made in the coming days, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the President on Saturday French Emmanuel Macron.

Johnson has set a deadline at the EU summit of Oct. 15 for a deal on a deal, and the EU is seeking some more concessions before entering the final stages of negotiations.

“(Johnson) confirmed the UK’s commitment to explore all avenues to reach a deal,” Johnson’s office in Downing Street said during a reading of the appeal.

“The Prime Minister underlined that progress must be made in the coming days to close the important gaps, in particular in the fields of fisheries and equal opportunities, through the process of intensive discussions between the chief negotiators.

The two chief negotiators, the EU’s Michel Barnier and Britain’s David Frost, say they are set to strike a deal before the October 15 deadline, although they have stressed that significant gaps remain.

Johnson told Macron that Britain wanted a deal, but not at any cost.

“He stressed that a deal was better for both parties, but also that the UK was ready to end the transition period on terms similar to Australia if an agreement could not be reached.” , Johnson’s office said.

Reporting by Alistair Smout, editing by William Maclean

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