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Brexit: UK and EU making 'better progress' in talks, EU Commission president says

·2-min read

Britain and the European Union are making better progress in talks on their future relationship, the president of the EU Commission has said.

The UK's transition out of the EU ends on 31 December and quotas and tariffs will hit bilateral trade in 2021 unless both sides can reach a deal.

The agreement would also regulate the UK and the EU's ties in relation to energy, transport and security.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: "After difficult weeks with very, very slow progress, now we've seen in the last days better progress, more movement on important files.

"This is good. We still have of course the three main difficult issues: the governance, the fisheries and the level playing field.

"But within the frame of the level playing field, progress for example has been made on the question of state aid but there are still quite some metres to the finish line so there's a lot of work to do."

Ms von der Leyen, speaking a day before the G20 summit in Saudi Arabia, has said she will urge world leaders to maintain economic support measures until the recovery from the pandemic is firmly underway.

She continued: "Tomorrow (at the G20 meeting), I will stress the importance of maintaining economic support measures, until the recovery is firmly underway.

"I will also stress that our collective recovery must be sustainable and it must be inclusive.

"It must be in line with the (UN) 2030 agenda and its sustainable development goals as our compass."

European Council President Charles Michel said countries should increase their collaboration to boost sustainable finance and follow the European Union's lead in developing green bond standards.

Mr Michel said countries must help mobilise the "massive" investments needed to tackle climate change, including by developing common standards for green bonds.

G20 leaders will convene by videoconference on Saturday, to discuss topics including the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to tackle climate change.