UK Politics

Brexit trade deal still possible despite tumultuous week, says Downing Street


Downing Street is calling for "more realism" from the EU in trade negotiations but believes a post-Brexit trade deal is still possible despite a tumultuous week.

Relations between Brussels and London soured dramatically as Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to back down over plans to override the UK's Withdrawal Agreement.

The EU had threatened legal action against the UK and told Mr Johnson to ditch proposed legislation by the end of the month.

But the government refused to budge and claimed its UK Internal Market Bill is "critical" to ensuring the unfettered access for goods from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK.

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Meanwhile, discussions on a future trade deal continued to stall, with both the UK and EU chief negotiators reporting there are still "significant" differences in key areas at the conclusion of the eighth round of negotiations this week.


However, Downing Street on Friday insisted a UK-EU trade deal could still be struck.

The prime minister's official spokesman said: "We have engaged constructively with the EU throughout this process.

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"We have negotiated in good faith and we will continue to do so.

"We do still believe that there is a deal to be reached. We will work hard to achieve it.

"What we have been asking for is for more realism on the EU side about what it means for the UK to have left the EU and to once again be a sovereign nation."

The UK and EU will resume trade negotiations in Brussels next week, with a senior UK negotiating official describing the latest talks as "relatively more constructive than you might expect".

"But ultimately progress will be determined by whether we get more realism from them on the key areas of divergence," they said.

"Whilst we are beginning to get discussions of substance of some issues, big important areas remain unresolved. We will carry on talking in Brussels next week.

"On subsidies we are asking that the EU agree with us what they have agreed with so many others in this area.

"Despite their insistence to the contrary, on fisheries their position isRead More – Source