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  • UK and EU struggling to reach last-minute agreement on Britain's leaving the EU after over 40 years in the union.

    UK and EU struggling to reach last-minute agreement on Britain's leaving the EU after over 40 years in the union. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 September 2019

Neogotiators from both sides are set to meet again next week to examine the "concepts, principles and ideas that the United Kingdom has put forward," say EU officials.

Ireland's deputy prime minister warned that the European Union and the United Kingdom remain very far apart on how to deal with the nearing Brexit, but that there have been improvements in the "mood music", as both neogitating teams agreed on Friday to continued to search for a last minute agreement on the exit of Britain from the EU.

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After weeks of demanding concrete proposals from Britain to break the deadlock, the European Commission said the technical meetings will now focus on "a first set of concepts, principles and ideas that the United Kingdom has put forward."

The announcement was released after meetings in Brussels between British Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, while the UK and the EU are struggling to reach a last-minute agreement before Britain's planned departure still scheduled to happen Oct. 31.

Barclay was optimistic, saying the meeting took longer than expected, which he saw as a sign of progress.

"There is a common purpose both in Dublin and in London and here in Brussels to see an agreement on the table," he said. "We're going into the details.”

Barclay added that the two sides' technical teams will meet next week, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson will meet with EU Council President Donald Tusk at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

However, the Commission warned that "it is essential that there be a fully workable and legally operational solution" included in the Brexit legally binding divorce agreement.

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