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.
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9.45am update: Majority of Scots want Brexit extension, poll finds
A majority of Scots back an extension to the Brexit transition period, a new poll has found.
A survey of 1,100 people – by Survation on behalf of Mark Diffley Consultancy and Research – found 63 percent were in favour of extending the deadline.
A UK-wide survey that ran alongside the poll found 52 percent of Britons were against delaying the transition date.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeatedly insisted that the UK will not extend the transition period beyond the end of the year.
The surveys were commissioned by a new campaign group, Starting up in Scotland.
9.25am update: Williamson does not deny Sedwill will be replaced with Brexiteer
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson did not deny that Boris Johnson would seek a Brexiteer to replace Sir Mark Sedwill as Cabinet Secretary when asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Mr Williamson said: “The Prime Minister’s search is to get the very best person into that role and applications will be opening from next month to get someone of the very highest calibre to step into some big shoes.”
9.15am 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 Express.co.uk: “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.”