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Merkel says next weeks decisive for Brexit talks

German Chancellor Angela Merkel holds her annual summer news conference during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Berlin, Germany, August 28, 2020. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi/Pool

BERLIN (Reuters) - Negotiations over Britain’s post-Brexit relationship with the European Union will enter their decisive phase over the coming weeks, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday.

Michel Barnier, the European Union’s chief Brexit negotiator, on Wednesday called for a deal by the end of October, after negotiations made little progress last week.

The transition period ends on Dec. 31.

reporting by Madeline Chambers, Writing by John Stonestreet; Editing by Toby Chopra