Brexit LIVE: Michel Barnier set for Brexit showdown in ONE HOUR – will make or break talks


Boris Johnson earlier warned there was little point continuing talks as the EU refused to back down over its demands for future fishing arrangements and state aid. Now the Prime Minister’s spokesperson has said the “door is ajar” but the bloc must be willing to change its approach. The spokesperson said: “We have said that our door is ajar to resume talks, but that can only happen if the EU fundamentally change their approach and also if they make it clear that they have done so.”

The EU said both the EU and UK will need to compromise to reach a Brexit deal ahead of the meeting this afternoon. 

A European Commission spokesman told a Brussels briefing: “I think it is pretty obvious that in order to come to an agreement both sides need to meet and this is also obviously the case in this negotiation.”

It comes as Mr Barnier vowed to “intensify” talks after in another change of heart as Mr Gove warned further talks would be “meaningless” without the EU backing down over its demands.

He said: “The conclusions of that council reaffirmed the EU’s original negotiating mandate, they dropped a reference to intensive talks that has been in the draft and they declared that all, all future moves in this negotiation had to be made by the UK.”

Lord Frost added: “But the EU still needs to make a fundamental change in approach to the talks and make clear it has done so.”

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12.43pm update: Barnier accused of ‘paying lip service’ to UK sovereignty in EU trade talks

EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier has said that the EU remains “available to intensify talks in London on all subjects”.

This comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the UK should start preparing for a no deal Brexit.

Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi reiterated the Government’s point to Sky News that there was “no point” in continuing negotiations without a move on the EU’s part.

He said: “As long as they agree to negotiate with us as a sovereign in the way the EU has treated Norway on fishing, then we’re happy to intensify.

“But until they make it very clear that they are willing to negotiate with us as an equal, as a sovereign, then there’s no point simply just paying lip service.

“There’s no point saying they’ll intensify negotiations when the reality is that they don’t accept the principle that the UK has left the EU and we are now sovereign.

“We’ve just done a deal with Japan, much deeper and better than the EU had with Japan, and we’ll do many more.”

12.03pm update: Widdecombe blasts Boris Johnson for not walking away – Thatcher would say ‘we’re leaving’

Margaret Thatcher would never have put up with the treatment meted out to the UK by the EU over the last year – and would have pulled the plug on the Brexit withdrawal agreement long ago, former Tory minister Ann Widdecombe has said.

Miss Widdecombe, who served as a Brexit Party MEP alongside Nigel Farage after being elected to the European Parliament last year, fears current PM Boris Johnson’s refusal to walk away from negotiations once and for all will see the UK saddled with what she calls a “lousy deal”.

However, she said it would not have been the case had Mrs Thatcher, who led the UK from 1979 to 1990, still been in charge.

Miss Widdecombe, who served as minister of state for Employment and also minister of state for Prisons under Mrs Thatcher’s successor, John Major, said: “I think that when the first deadline expired for a proper deal she would have said that’s it.

11.43am update: Robert Peston highlights ‘real deal deadline’ as Brexit talks resume ‘Victory for Boris’

The ITV’s political editor insisted EU negotiators were already due to travel to London on Tuesday before Michel Barnier said Brussels was prepared to continue talks across all subjects in a call with Lord Frost on Monday afternoon.

Robert Peston branded Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove’s claim that the breakthrough was due to Boris Johnson’s new tough stance with the bloc as “classic Govian spin”.

The political journalist added that November 15 is the “real deadline” for a free trade agreement, as it would still be possible to ratify a deal before that date.

10.56am update: UK and EU Brexit negotiators to meet again today

AFP Brussels reporter Clement Zampa tweeted: “New exchange scheduled this afternoon between @MichelBarnier and @DavidGHFrost to unblock post-discussions #Brexit , after the helping hand of the EU yesterday … and the British “no thank you”.

READ MORE: Merkel told to pressure Macron into dropping Brexit fishing demands



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