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France’s insistence that the final Brexit deal is not left in English alone has “cut off one expediency”, according to an expert. This comes after obtained confidential diplomatic notes suggest that EU officials think a Brexit deal is 95 percent agreed, though concerns that talks could still break down remain. Sky News’ Europe Correspondent, Adam Parsons, spoke about the final hurdles that needed to be cleared by the end of December.
He told viewers: “Going through these notes, you see a patchwork of concerns. The Italians are worried about road transport, for instance.
“The French are insisting that any deal will have to be translated into French, and not just left in English.
“That takes us down the road of another consideration.
“If a deal is going to be done, how can it be taken across the line in time for January 1.”
Mr Parsons continued: “If the French are insisting on it being translated into their language, that cuts off one expediency.
“Another idea is to have an emergency meeting between Christmas and New Year.
“But one solution in these notes in an intriguing one to have what’s called a provisional application.
“This effectively means a Brexit deal is put in place on January 1 even though it hasn’t been officially signed off. That is as precarious as it sounds.”
Despite these issues, EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier seems to think a deal is possible as long as the “political will is there”.
The EU is reportedly searching for ways to remove time pressures and to place urgency back on the UK side.
One official said: “My impression is that Barnier and the [negotiating] Task Force are much more relaxed.”
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They added: “Their attitude is, look, this is hyper political. One thing the EU is always good at is coming up with a legal solution to a political problem.
“They’ll find a way of sorting out the [European] Parliament and internal procedures.”
France’s demands regarding post-Brexit fishing rights have also stalled negotiations throughout the transition.
Britain reportedly wants to change the way its fish stocks are allocated and taper off EU catches over several years.
France has refused any compromise, claiming that no deal is better than a bad deal.
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