Brexit breakthrough: UK playing clever waiting game to secure EU deal, claims former PM

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Carl Bildt, a former Swedish prime minister, claimed the Democrat’s reluctance to broker a rapid fire trade deal with the UK would hand a further boost to Michel Barnier’s negotiating efforts. After an acrimonious day, Mr Biden looks set to clinch the US presidency by narrowly defeating rival candidate Donald Trump in the polls. Meanwhile Brexit negotiations were paused after 10 days of intensified wrangling between Brussels and London.

With both sides set to resume talks on Sunday, Mr Bildt said the likely outcome of the US vote makes an EU-UK trade deal more likely.

He said: “It looks as if UK wanted a pause in the EU talks in order to await the outcome in US.

“With a Biden win a quick US-UK deal would be less likely, and the need of a EU-UK deal would be more apparent.”

Mr Biden is on the verge of securing the presidency in a closely fought election with President Trump needing a late swing in several key states to claim victory.

It has been claimed that Lord Frost, the Prime Minister’s Brexit envoy, walked out of talks to await the results of the election.

But sources in both the EU and UK camps have branded this “nonsense”, insisting they are taking a short break before picking up the negotiations in London on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Mr Barnier and Lord Frost’s most senior deputies will continue work on the regulatory level-playing field and governance via video conference.

The talks ended in Brussels last night with little breakthrough – despite two weeks of intensified negotiations.

The EU is still failing to deal with Britain as an independent state, officials on the UK side claimed.

Clashes continued over EU demands on fishing rights and state aid rules that the Government has made clear it will not agree to.

British negotiator Lord Frost and his Brussels counterpart Michel Barnier said there were still major differences remaining. But they will resume discussions in London on Sunday.

The two sides have just weeks to find a solution that can be signed off in time for the end of the transition period on December 31.

Lord Frost said: “We’ve just finished two weeks of intensive talks with the EU.

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“Progress made, but I agree with Michel Barnier that wide divergences remain on some core issues. We will continue to work to find solutions that fully respect UK sovereignty.”

Mr Barnier told European leaders that “considerable progress” had been made putting pen to paper on the legal text.

But he conceded they had failed to make a breakthrough on the key sticking points of access to British fishing waters, future common standards and policing the final agreement.

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In a private meeting with EU ambassadors yesterday, the Brussels negotiator hinted agreements will not be found until closer to the mid- November deadline.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen could hold talks with Prime Minister Boris Johnson next week to deliver a final political push if a Brexit deal is in sight, a source said.

Both sides are hoping to strike an agreement by November 16 at the latest, but many fear talks can still collapse if the deadlock remains.

Meanwhile, Eurocrats have based all future economic forecasts for the bloc on a no-deal Brexit outcome in the trade talks.

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