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Michel Barnier is the EU’s chief negotiator for Brexit
The UK cannot have the same trade deal with the EU as Canada, according to the bloc’s chief negotiator. Michel Barnier said the EU was ready to offer an “ambitious partnership” with the UK post-Brexit, but its “particular proximity” meant it would be different. It comes after the UK’s chief negotiator, David Frost, made a speech in Brussels calling for a “Canada-Free Trade Agreement-type relationship”.The two sides are due to start negotiations next month. The UK left the EU on 31 January and is now in a transition period – following the majority of the bloc’s rules – while a post-Brexit trade deal is hammered out.Prime Minister Boris Johnson has put a deadline of 31 December on agreeing a plan, saying he will not extend the transition period beyond then.On his first speech about the trade deal since his general election win, Mr Johnson said he wanted to pursue a model similar to that of Canada’s, which took seven years to negotiate.Under the agreement, import tariffs on most goods have been eliminated between the two countries, though there are still customs and VAT checks.
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Media captionPM: We want a Canada-style deal with the EUBut speaking to reporters as he arrived at the European Parliament, Mr Barnier cast doubt on the possibility. “We remain ready to offer the UK an ambitious