EU says ‘extremely late’ for post-Brexit deal

Brussels:A top EU diplomat warned Monday it was getting dangerously late to secure a post-Brexit trade deal as a week of crucial talks began in Brussels.

"Let's see if there will be an agreement. We can't tell at this stage whether this will be by the end of this week or whenever - or at all," he said.

"This is already getting extremely late," the envoy told reporters on condition of anonymity.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier and his UK counterpart David Frost are in Brussels in hopes of securing an agreement after eight months of talks.

The clock is ticking towards December 31 when a post-Brexit transition phase ends and the UK and Europe will need a trade deal to govern ties -- or face economic chaos.

A deal is needed early enough before that date to allow the ratification by European Parliament, which meets for the last time on December 16. - AFP �\==== Mozilla