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EU pledges to intensify talks on Brexit, Irish issue

FILE PHOTO: European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic holds a news conference in Brussels, Belgium September 28, 2020. John Thys/Pool via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union is ready to intensify talks towards a deal on future trade ties with Britain after a meeting to discuss the existing Brexit agreement, at which both sides showed “political will” to move swiftly, senior officials with the bloc said.

European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said, after talks with London about upholding the Withdrawal Agreement on Monday, that Britain had much work to do to honour commitments on the island of Ireland.

He said contacts would “significantly intensify”, with a view to another such meeting in mid-November. EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier then tweeted that the bloc was available to intensify talks in London this week “on all subjects, and based on legal texts.”

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, Editing by Gabriela Baczynska