Brexit LIVE: Big guns out as trade talks begin today with MAJOR changes – deadline looms

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Four rounds of talks led by Boris Johnson’s Europe adviser David Frost and the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, which have been taking place remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, have led to little progress. But the two sides are set to meet face-to-face today in Brussels after agreeing to “intensify” negotiations.

There will be greater involvement from Mr Frost and his EU counterpart in the latest round of talks.

And negotiating teams will be smaller with just 20 British officials heading to the Belgian capital.

The UK formally left the EU on January 31 and is in a transition period until the end of the year.


9.05am update: UK fishing industry could be one of the finest in the world – former MEP

Britain’s fishing industry could be one of the finest in the world if Boris Johnson refuses to bow to pressure from the EU, former Brexit Party MEP June Mummery has predicted.

The ex-MEP called on the Prime Minister to “hold firm” on fishing, which has been a major stumbling block in trade talks with Brussels.

Ms Mummery predicted the UK’s fishing industry, which has been decimated by the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, would be “buoyant” in just five years if Mr Johnson takes back control of Britain’s waters.

The former MEP told “Boris has the chance to put all of the wrongs right. We will be one of the finest fishing industries in the world if Boris gets this right.”

9am update: Johnson repeats threat of walking away from talks

Boris Johnson repeated his threat of walking away from trade talks with the EU during a conversation on Saturday with Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “On the UK’s future relationship with the EU, the Prime Minister welcomed the agreement on both sides to an intensified process of negotiations in July.

“He said the UK would negotiate constructively but equally would be ready to leave the transition period on Australia terms if agreement could not be reached.”

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