Brexit talks continue in Brussels ahead of crunch summit

UK opposition parties outline election plan

The United Kingdom and European Union negotiating teams will meet later as efforts to reach a deal before a crunch summit this week continue.

After talks in Brussels this weekend, EU ambassadors were told the UK would make concessions to its post-Brexit plan for the Northern Irish border, the BBC reports.

But the bloc’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said “a big gap” remained over customs arrangements.

Home Office Minister, Victoria Atkins, said she believed a deal could be reached by the October 31 deadline.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “[In] the last few days, we’ve seen a real shift in approach from the EU – and in Ireland in particular – for which we’re extremely grateful and appreciative.

“I think with the negotiations ongoing… I’m an optimist.”

The PM’s official spokesman told journalists on Monday morning: “Talks remain constructive, but there is a lot of work still to do.”

That echoes the message delivered by Boris Johnson to his cabinet on Sunday and that given most recently by the European Commission.

Both sides have said they hope to agree on a deal before the EU summit on Thursday and Friday, and if that happens, the government said it would introduce a withdrawal agreement bill to be voted on next Saturday in a special parliamentary session.

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The PM’s spokesman said Mr. Johnson would expect MPs to “work around the clock” to pass the necessary legislation so Brexit can happen on schedule at 23:00 GMT on October 31.

Adekola Shobiye

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