Little chance of trade deal when Johnson, von der Leyen meet - French official


FILE PHOTO: A man is seen holding EU and Britain flag outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

PARIS (Reuters) - Britain and the European Union are so far apart in post-Brexit trade talks that there is scant likelihood of a deal when Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday, a French official said.

"The probability of a no-deal is increasing," the official said.

He said that direct talks between Johnson and President Emmanuel Macron were not desirable as France had total trust in the EU's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

"We have total trust in Ursula von der Leyen and Michel Barnier", the official said. "They know exactly what we want."

Johnson told the EU earlier on Wednesday that it must scrap demands that he said were unacceptable if there was to be a Brexit trade deal and avoid a turbulent break-up in three weeks.

(Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Richard Lough and Gareth Jones)

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