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Top Brussels officials press UK PM Johnson for progress in trade talks

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Top EU officials in Brussels told Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a call on Wednesday evening that Britain had to move in their talks on a new trade partnership after Brexit.

“We pressed again for progress to be made at the negotiation table,” Charles Michel, president of the European Council, said after the call, which also included the head of the bloc’s executive. It was held on the eve of a Brussels summit of the 27 national EU leaders to discuss Brexit.

An EU official, familiar with the contents of the call, said the EU side pushed back against what it saw as UK attempts to leave fisheries as the last sticking point to be sorted out. They told Johnson it was part of a whole package needed for an overall agreement, according to the official, including on energy ties from 2021, or financial services - areas where London’s negotiating position is weaker than on fishing rights.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Leslie Adler

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