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Brexit: UK ‘ready to welcome EU’ to continue trade talks

 

The UK is “ready to welcome the EU team” to continue negotiations over a post-Brexit trade deal, says No 10.

The two sides’ chief negotiators, Lord David Frost and Michel Barnier, spoke on the phone earlier after talks stalled last week.

After the conversation, Downing Street said the pair had “jointly agreed a set of principles for handling this intensified phase of talks”.

Lord Frost said talks would begin again in London on Thursday.

The full statement from No 10 said it was “clear that significant gaps remain between our positions in the most difficult areas” and it was “entirely possible that negotiations will not succeed”.

But, it added: “We are ready, with the EU, to see if it is possible to bridge them in intensive talks.”

Both the UK and EU are calling on each other to compromise ahead of the looming December deadline for a deal.

From 1 January 2020, the so-called transition period will be over, which has seen the UK continue to follow EU trading rules while a deal was negotiated.

If an agreement is not reached, the UK will move onto trade with the EU according to the default rules set by the World Trade Organization.

Key areas of disagreement that remain between the two sides include fishing rights and post-Brexit competition rules.