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Britain and EU "closing in" on a Brexit agreement, Raab says




Britain and the European Union are "closing in" on a withdrawal agreement, Brexit minister Dominic Raab said on Friday, before a meeting of European leaders in Salzburg next week.
Britain is due to leave the bloc on March 29 but has yet to reach a full exit deal with Brussels, and some rebels lawmakers in Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party have threatened to vote against any agreement unless she changes her proposals.
Both London and Brussels are hoping to reach a deal by mid-November. May has said next week's informal EU summit will be a "staging post" in the negotiations that will allow the bloc's leaders to discuss her Brexit plans for the first time.
"While there remain some substantive differences we need to resolve, it is clear our teams are closing in on workable solutions to the outstanding issues in the Withdrawal Agreement, and are having productive discussions in the right spirit on the future relationship," Raab said after a phone call with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.
"We reiterated our willingness to devote the necessary time and energy to bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion," he said, adding that the pair agreed to take stock...

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