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Barnier Voices Caution as Brexit Negotiators Race to a Deal

  • EU’s chief negotiator warns diplomats no guarantee of a deal
  • Some governments are concerned Barnier is giving too much away
Michel Barnier will brief diplomats on Wednesday on the progress of the negotiations.
Michel Barnier will brief diplomats on Wednesday on the progress of the negotiations.Photographer: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Bloomberg
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British and European Union officials are racing to strike a post-Brexit trade deal before the start of next week, with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier telling envoys the outcome is still too close to call.

While intensive, round-the-clock talks in London are making progress, genuine disagreement remains on fisheries and a level playing field, meaning it’s impossible to predict an outcome with any certainty, people with knowledge of the discussions said. A third issue -- how a deal would be enforced -- can only be overcome at the end. However, two officials said the general mood on both sides is one of optimism.