Last Minute Talks: Downing Street Warns ‘Time is Very Short’ For Negotiators to Sign Brexit Deal

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23: EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier walks with members of the EU delegation to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy in St. James on October 23, 2020 in London, England. Brexit negotiations stalled between the UK and the EU last week with areas of …
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“Significant gaps” to be bridged remain if there is to be any hope of a Brexit deal before the end of the year, Boris Johnson’s spokesman said Monday.

Much work remained to be done in talks that little over a week ago were said to have failed, Downing Street said as the European Union’s top Brexit negotiator met senior government figures in London in an attempt to hammer out a deal.

Making clear reference to the radically divergent expectations for any deal from the British and European sides in the talks, Boris Johnson’s spokesman said Monday of the talks that: “There is also much work to be done if we’re going to bridge what are the significant gaps that remain between our positions in the most difficult areas and time is very short”, reports Reuters.

Europe’s top man on Brexit, Michel Barnier, is in London until Wednesday and met with British chief negotiator David Frost on Monday.

The latest talks come less than two weeks after negotiations appeared to have collapsed, with Boris Johnson and the British team declaring that the significant gaps — again referenced in today’s announcement — had not closed or even moved in months, and consequently continuing was pointless.

Yet despite robust rhetoric aside — Mr Barnier was even told to not bother turning up the next day if he didn’t intend to make significant concessions — talks resumed less than a week later. Regardless, given Monday’s comments from Downing Street it appears to remain the case that no real progress has been made.

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