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In a shift, UK welcomes European Union offer to intensify Brexit talks

Britain and the European Union edged toward resuming their troubled trade talks on Monday, after the bloc's chief negotiator said he was ready to intensify negotiations


A woman holds up the Union and the European Union flags during an event called "Brussels calling" to celebrate the friendship between Belgium and Britain at the Grand Place in Brussels

AP London
Britain and the European Union edged toward resuming their troubled trade talks on Monday, after the bloc's chief negotiator said he was ready to intensify negotiations on the legal text of an agreement.
Britain's chief Brexit minister hailed that as evidence of significant movement from the EU, three days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared that the talks were effectively over.
Britain and the EU have been attempting to strike a new trade deal since the UK left the bloc on Jan 31.
Those talks ground to a halt last week, with each side calling for the other to compromise in order to secure a deal. The EU said it was happy to keep talking, but Johnson said Friday that negotiations were over unless there was a fundamental shift from the bloc. He told British businesses to prepare for a no-deal economic break with the EU in 10 weeks' time.
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, who spoke by phone Monday with UK counterpart David Frost, said the EU remains available to intensify talks in London this week, on all subjects, and based on legal texts."

We now wait for the U.K.'s reaction," he tweeted. Michael Gove, the British minister in charge of preparing for Brexit, welcomed Barnier's statement, which he called a constructive move.
It came minutes after Gove told the House of Commons that he devoutly hoped the EU would give ground so the talks could resume.
Meanwhile, the UK government's plan to breach part of its legally binding divorce deal with the bloc which has angered EU leaders, faced strong opposition from politicians and religious leaders in the UK.
The UK's most senior Anglican bishops warned Monday that the legislation set a disastrous precedent and could undermine peace in Northern Ireland.
In a letter published in the Financial Times, the top archbishops in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland said the government's Brexit-related Internal Market Bill had enormous moral, as well as political and legal, consequences.
The Internal Market Bill has been approved by the House of Commons but faces strong opposition in Parliament's upper chamber, the House of Lords, where the governing Conservative Party does not have a majority.
The rule of law is a bulwark against authoritarian incursion, said Igor Judge, a former High Court justice who now sits in the Lords.
We are about to tear it into tatters."

If passed, the bill will allow the British government to override parts of the legally binding Brexit withdrawal agreement relating to trade with Northern Ireland, the only part of the U.K. to share a border with the EU.
Johnson's government says it needs the legislation as an insurance policy in case the EU behaves unreasonably after a post-Brexit transition period ends on Dec. 31 and tries to impede the flow of goods between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Topics : Brexit

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First Published: Oct 19 2020 | 10:39 PM IST

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