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In a major concession, the EU is now ready to drop its demands on agreeing a broad agreement on the areas of divergence before drafting a trade text. The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, had initially refused to do this and was intent on agreeing many of the elements before proceeding. Mr Barnier has now confirmed his intent to begin working on the draft legislation in a sign Brussels wants a deal to be agreed by soon.
Brussels has also backed down from its threat to suspend trade talks amid the uproar caused by the UK’s Internal Market Bill.
Negotiations on elements of Brexit talks such as fisheries, and the level-playing field, will also be extended to give Mr Barnier and his counterpart, Lord David Frost, more time to come to a compromise.
Due to the EU’s concession, UK officials are now expected to negotiate on detailed elements such as fishing quotas in return, The Times reported.
This week’s talks are seen as crucial in laying the groundwork of a deal before it is then agreed next month.
One British source said: “The most important thing is that we start moving forward on negotiations over texts so we can get further forward and not get timed out.
During a session with a Brussels think-tank, EU Council President Charles Michel also claimed progress had been made in talks.
Although he admitted the talks had progressed slowly, Mr Michel did reveal UK officials had stated a deal is still possible between the two sides.
Commenting on the chances of a deal: “Sentiments about the prospects of reaching a Brexit deal have veered wildly.
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“Lord Frost and those around him say a deal is possible but warn that time is now the biggest obstacle.”
In a positive sign, Mr Michel also eased fears a deal must be agreed by the EU summit by October 15.
He concluded: “The UK side hope to show enough progress by October 15 to give the talks more time to get a deal over the line.
“However if, by the end of October, the two sides are still some way apart it is hard to see how an agreement can be finalised in time.”
Ahead of the last round of negotiations today, Cabinet Office minister, Michael Gove, travelled to Brussels to meet with European Commission vice-president, Maros Sefcovic on Monday.
The talks were seen as an opportunity to give fresh impetus to the last round of talks.
He said: “I think it’s very important to say, to underline, that it could never be the EU which would cause the end of the negotiation of the future partnership between the EU and UK.
“We are going to proceed with the negotiations. We are going to use every single minute.”
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News – EU caves in: UK secures huge negotiating victory as Brussels FINALLY blinks – talks today