Brexit Deal on a Knife Edge After Day of High Drama in Talks

Date: 2020-12-18 23:01:44

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Brexit trade talks headed into a decisive weekend with neither side confident of a deal after a frantic 24 hours exposed just how far apart the U.K. and European Union still are on an issue that’s hampered the talks since March.

With officials from both sides expecting a conclusion one way or the other within the next two days, talks resumed in Brussels on Friday afternoon — but only after EU negotiators had spent the morning consulting their own national capitals over the scope for compromise on the issue of fishing rights. The U.K. rejected the bloc’s latest offer.

British and European diplomats close to the negotiations insisted it’s still just as likely that talks will collapse without a deal being struck as they are to end with an accord. It sets up a critical two days that will define the U.K.’s relationship with the bloc when the country makes its final break with the European single market on Dec. 31.

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