EU official says may already be too late for UK trade deal

FILE PHOTO: Puzzle with printed EU and UK flags is seen in this illustration taken November 13, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A senior EU official said on Monday it was getting “terribly late” to seal a new trade deal with Britain and that it “may be too late already” to put in place any agreement before 2021, even if Brexit negotiators seal it this week or the next.

Ireland, the EU state most exposed to Brexit, said on Monday Britain and the bloc had up to 10 days to unlock talks to prevent tariffs and quotas from eating into an estimated trillion dollars worth of annual trade in just over six weeks.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Toby Chopra