EU agrees to start British trade talks after Brexit deal approved: Sources

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson skipped the summit because of an election on Thursday

BRUSSELS, Dec 13 (Reuters) - The European Union's 27 national leaders agreed at a summit on Friday to move to trade talks with Britain after the "ratification and effective implementation" of the Brexit deal, diplomatic sources said.

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A French official said the EU would stress that so-called level playing field provisions to guarantee fair competition will be crucial for the bloc in trade negotiations with Britain.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson skipped the summit because of an election on Thursday in which his Conservative Party won a landslide victory.

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(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Michel Rose; Editing by Catherine Evans)