LONDON TO RESUME POST-BREXIT TALKS
London will resume talks over a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU from Thursday - less than a week after threatening to walk away from negotiations, Euronews reported.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson had initially said that discussions were "finished" unless there was a "fundamental change" in approach from Brussels.
"Clearly, significant differences remain between our positions on the most difficult subjects but we are ready with the EU, to see if it is possible to bring them closer during intensive discussions," said a spokesman for Johnson.
"It is quite possible that the negotiations will fail," the spokesman added.
Earlier, the EU's lead negotiator, Michel Barnier, said an EU-UK trade deal was within reach if both sides make the necessary compromises.
Barnier was speaking at the European Parliament. He also said Brussels is ready to start writing a legal text to seal the deal.
"An agreement is within reach if we are able to make progress in [the] next few days to resolve the sticking points. Time is running out each and every day," he told MEPs and the president of the European Council, Charles Michel.
Last week the UK told Barnier and his team not to come to London for more talks unless they had fundamentally changed their position on a number of issues.
Downing Street also wanted the EU to begin the process of putting a legal text in order as a way of intensifying progress.
Michel Barnier said the EU is ready to do this and was willing to do so before being told not to show up in London.
“We are ready to discuss all subjects on the basis of legal texts. My team was fully prepared to travel to London to work on that”, he said.
While the prospect of a successful outcome has risen significantly in recent weeks, the two sides are still relatively far apart on substantive issues like the so-called level playing field, governance and the aforementioned fisheries.