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Barnier ready to intensify Brexit talks: EU financial services chief

FILE PHOTO: European Parliament Vice President Mairead McGuinness speaks during her hearing as the new EU financial services commissioner before the European Parliament's economic affairs committee, in Brussels, Belgium, October 2, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The European Union remains absolutely committed to reaching a post-Brexit trade deal with Britain and chief negotiator Michel Barnier stands ready to travel to London to intensify talks, EU Financial Services Commissioner Mairead McGuinness said.

Britain stood firm on Tuesday in rebutting an EU offer to discuss draft legal texts of a potential post-Brexit trade deal unless there were fundamental changes, as their high-stakes diplomatic poker game risked a chaotic finale.

“The European Union remains absolutely committed to reaching a deal, our door is open and will remain open until the very last moment... but time is short,” McGuinness, who was appointed to her role this month, told an online conference on Tuesday.

“Michel Barnier and his team stand ready to go to London to intensify the work with (British chief negotiator) David Frost and his team to develop the legal text.”

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Michael Holden

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