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‘Very concerned’: EU chief warns another Brexit delay might be necessary

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The European Union and Britain will struggle to seal an agreement on trade and other aspects of their future ties after Brexit next year and should consider extending the negotiations beyond 2020, a top EU official said in an interview published Friday.

The U.K. is scheduled to leave the EU on Jan. 31. If it does, it will be the first time a country leaves the world’s biggest trading bloc.

Negotiations between the remaining members and the British government on future trade, fisheries, education and transport relations can only begin after that date and must conclude by the end of 2020.

“I am very concerned about how little time we have,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told the French business newspaper Les Echos. “It seems to me that, on both sides, we should seriously consider whether the negotiations are feasible in such a short time.”
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