EU gives upbeat assessment of state of Brexit trade talks

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BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union issued Friday one of its most upbeat assessments of the state of post-Brexit trade negotiations.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said “we’ve seen in the last days, better progress, more movement on important files.”

“This is good,” von der Leyen told reporters, in comments that contrast sharply with previous statements over the talks that have dragged on with little progress for months, despite the tight Jan. 1 deadline.

Her comment came a day after a member of the EU negotiating team tested positive for the coronavirus, which led to the talks being suspended.

She said that because legal texts had made such progress, further discussions by video over the next days could progress too “since there is now substance where you can go through line by line.”

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