Post-Brexit trade talks extended, says No 10

Published:Sunday, 25 Oct 2020 12:10

Post-Brexit trade talks extended, says No 10

The chief negotiators for the UK and EU will continue post-Brexit trade talks in London until Wednesday, says No 10.

Michel Barnier arrived in the UK on Thursday to restart negotiations with Lord David Frost after they stalled last week – but he was due to return home on Sunday.

EU sources told the BBC more talks are also planned in Brussels from Thursday.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said the extended talks were “a very good sign” a deal can be done.

But he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr: “We have got to make sure it is a deal that works, not just for our partners in Europe… but one that works for the United Kingdom.”

The UK left the EU on 31 January but has been in a so-called transition period – continuing to follow EU rules and pay into the bloc – while the two sides hammer out a post-Brexit trade agreement.

The transition period is due to end on 31 December, but if a deal is not reached, the UK will trade with the EU on World Trade Organisation rules.

Some critics fear a no-deal scenario will cause problems for businesses, but the government insists the UK will prosper.