Von der Leyen makes rare intervention as EU chief declares new ‘movement’ in trade talks

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In an upbeat intervention, the European Commission President said the two sides were still “ quite metres away” from the “finish line” because of disagreements over fishing rights and state aid rules. The German said: “After difficult weeks with very, very slow progress now we’ve seen in the last days in the last days better progress, more movement on important files. “We still have, of course, the three main difficult issues, the governance, the fisheries, and the level playing field.”

Mrs von der Leyen said progress was being made on the controversial issue of future common standards but the row over state aid rules is holding back a major breakthrough.

She added: “There are still quite some metres to the finish line, there is still a lot of work to do.”

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