January 8, 2020 / 4:53 PM / 10 days ago

UK-EU trade talks need not be completed in one go: Johnson's spokesman

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts during a meeting with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (not pictured) inside 10 Downing Street in London, Britain January 8, 2020. Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain does not want the European Union’s principle that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” to define future trade talks, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s political spokesman said on Wednesday.

During talks over the divorce deal, the EU insisted it would not agree different elements of Britain’s exit piece by piece, to reduce what it saw as a risk of Britain cherry-picking the deal to its own advantage.

Earlier the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said it would be impossible to negotiate all aspects of the EU-UK future relationship before the end of 2020 - a deadline Johnson has said he will not move.

Reporting Elizabeth Piper, writing by Kylie MacLellan, editing by David Milliken

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