European Union and British negotiators inched their way to within touching distance of a trade deal early Thursday, raising hopes a chaotic economic break between the two sides on New Year’s Day could be averted, officials said.
After resolving a few remaining fair-competition issues, negotiators tussled over EU fishing rights in U.K. waters as they worked right into Christmas Eve to secure a provisional deal for a post-Brexit relationship after nine months of talks.
Sources on both sides said the long and difficult negotiations were in their final stretch as negotiators went into another night, living off a stack of pizzas delivered to EU headquarters while they were combing through the fine print of a draft deal that runs to some 2,000 pages.
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