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EU, UK entering "last week or so" of substantive negotiations: UK foreign secretary

(Xinhua)    08:05, November 30, 2020

European Union (EU) chief negotiator Michel Barnier (C) leaves after trade talks with Britain in London, Britain, on Nov. 28, 2020. Britain and the European Union (EU) resumed face-to-face trade talks in London on Saturday. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Xinhua)

The negotiations are in a crucial stage as time is running out for both sides to secure a deal before the Brexit transition period expires at the end of the year.

Britain and the EU started their lengthy and bumpy post-Brexit talks in March after Britain ended its EU membership on Jan. 31, trying to secure a future trade deal before the Brexit transition period expires.

LONDON, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Sunday that talks with the European Union (EU) on post-Brexit trade are entering "the last week or so" of "substantive" post-Brexit trade negotiations.

Calling on the EU to accept a "point of principle" on fisheries, one of the sticking points in the talks, he seemed to reject what is reported to be the EU's current offer on fishing -- to return between 15 to 18 percent of fish stocks currently caught by EU fleets in British water, Sky News reported.

On other outstanding issues, Raab told Sky News that it "feels like there's progress towards greater respect" for Britain's position on so-called "level playing field" commitments -- a set of post-Brexit common rules and standards.

Britain and the EU resumed face-to-face post-Brexit talks in London on Saturday after an EU negotiator tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month.

The negotiations are in a crucial stage as time is running out for both sides to secure a deal before the Brexit transition period expires at the end of the year.

Britain and the EU started their lengthy and bumpy post-Brexit talks in March after Britain ended its EU membership on Jan. 31, trying to secure a future trade deal before the Brexit transition period expires.

Commenting on the coronavirus pandemic and its accompanying economic crisis, Raab said both the UK and the EU "ought to focus all of our minds on doing everything we can to give the economy a bit of a boost."

His remarks came as another 15,871 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 1,605,172, according to official figures released on Saturday.

The coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 479 to 58,030, the data showed.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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