Next days will be critical for the post-Brexit deal – Von der Leyen

Ursula von der Leyen, Boris Johnson

There is a “path” to a Brexit trade deal being agreed before the end of the month, the president of the European Commission has said.

“As things stand, I cannot tell you whether there will be a deal or not,” Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament in Brussels.

“We have found a way forward on most issues but two issues still remain outstanding: the level playing field and fisheries. I am glad to report that issues linked to governance now have largely been resolved. The next days are going to be decisive,” von der Leyen said.

The European Union and Britain have made some progress in trade talks but are still “very far apart in key areas”, a UK official said on Wednesday in reaction to Brussels’ comments earlier in the day that the tortuous negotiations have advanced.

“We’ve made some progress, but we are still very far apart in key areas,” said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Still not there.”