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'EU will have upper hand in trade talks with UK'
'EU will have upper hand in trade talks with UK'

London, Jan 27 (TIWN) Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said he believed that the European Union (EU) will have the upper hand in the upcoming trade talks with the UK following the country's exit from the bloc on Friday night.

Comparing negotiations to a football match, he suggested the EU would be at an advantage due to its larger population and market.

The taoiseach also warned reaching agreement would become harder if the UK sought to diverge from EU rules.

Mr Varadkar held talks with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier on Monday.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Barnier told reporters the two sides faced "the risk of a cliff edge" if trade terms were not agreed by the end of the year.

He cautioned that a "very short time" remained to "rebuild" the UK-EU relationship before the post-Brexit transition period was due to end in December.

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