Brexit: “We seem to be getting closer and closer to a deal" says diplomatic source

Britain and the EU appear closer to agreement on reciprocal social security rights for their citizens after Brexit, two diplomatic sources cited by Reuters said, with one describing talks last week on an elusive trade deal as “one of the most positive so far”.

The diplomats reportedly said that Brussels is gearing up to negotiate until as late as mid-November - rather than cutting talks off at the start of next month - to avoid a damaging “no-deal” scenario when Britain’s transition period ends on December 31st.

There was no breakthrough in last week’s negotiations on the three most contentious issues - fisheries, fair competition guarantees and ways to settle future disputes - but the prospects of an overall accord looked brighter.

“We seem to be getting closer and closer to a deal, even though the no-deal rhetoric in public might suggest the opposite,” said one of the two sources, both of whom were briefed by the executive European Commission.

Speaking separately this week, a senior EU official dealing with Brexit said the talks were “in a decisive period” and “not far away from the endgame. I still hope and think that we can find an agreement.”

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