EU countries urge Brexit negotiator not to be rushed into a deal

Several member states would rather see negotiations continue past the end of Britain's transition phase on Dec. 31

  

BRUSSELS - European Union member states urged the bloc's chief Brexit negotiator on Wednesday not to be rushed into agreeing an unsatisfactory trade deal with Britain just because a Dec. 31 deadline is looming, a senior EU diplomat said.

The diplomat said several member states would rather see negotiations, which have been stuck for months, continue past the end of Britain's transition phase on Dec. 31 even if that means there is a brief "no deal" period.

"There is a worry that because of this pressure of time there is a temptation to rush," the diplomat said after a briefing by negotiator Michel Barnier for the 27 member states' envoys in Brussels. "We told him: don't do that."

(Reporting by John Chalmers) ((john.chalmers@tr.com; +32 470 88 14 91;))

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