Brexit: Sunday deadline looms as UK, EU hope for breakthrough

British negotiator David Frost has arrived at the European Commission headquarters to see his EU counterpart Michel Barnier to decide whether to abandon post-Brexit trade talks.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Union chief Ursula von der Leyen will hold another crisis call later on Sunday, which is the latest in a string of supposedly hard deadlines for the negotiations.

With Britain due to leave the EU single market in 19 days, tensions are rising.

On Saturday, Britain took the dramatic step of announcing that armed naval vessels will patrol its waters from January 1 to exclude European crews from the fisheries they have shared, in some cases for centuries.

Brussels’ tone has been less bellicose, and von der Leyen has made it clear the EU will respect UK’s sovereignty after Britain’s post-Brexit transition period, but neither side is yet ready to compromise on its core principles.Without a trade deal, cross-Channel trade will revert to the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, with tariffs driving up prices and generating paperwork for importers.

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