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Another bout of post-Brexit trade talks is to take place in London this week

Despite British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s deadline of the EU summit, another round of talks are taking place this week.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares his Brexit statement in his office at 10 Downing Street.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares his Brexit statement in his office at 10 Downing Street.
Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

ANOTHER ROUND OF post-Brexit trade talks between the EU and UK are to take place in London this week.

In a statement of joint principles published today, the two sides agreed that the next set of negotiations will be based on each side’s legal texts.

The statement also said that work would be fast-tracked to find an agreement:

Lead negotiators in each of the workstreams should move as quickly as possible to a read through of both texts, with a view to identification of areas of convergence, which could be expressed either in a two/three column table or consolidated texts depending on which tool lead negotiators deem most appropriate.

On 7 September, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had given trade talks until the EU summit – held last Thursday and Friday – for both sides to reach an agreement. If no deal had been struck, the UK’s efforts should focus on preparing for a no-trade deal scenario, he said. 

A spokesperson for Johnson said today: “It is clear that significant gaps remain between our positions in the most difficult areas, but we are ready, with the EU, to see if it is possible to bridge them in intensive talks.”

The European Union has set the end of this month as its deadline for trade talks – that is based on the time needed to ratify any trade deal agreed in both EU and UK parliaments before the transition period runs out on 31 December. 

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Yesterday, EU negotiator Michel Barnier tweeted “our door remains open” after a call with UK negotiator David Frost.

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