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Good morning, and it feels like another Groundhog Day in the UK-EU trade talks as the latest deadline passes and the talks plough on. There are some hints of progress, although reporting of this story is handicapped by the fact that very little has emerged about what is actually on the table in the talks (we’re only getting generalised briefings from both sides, which are not always consistent; no one has seen text of the most contentious proposals) and by the fact that the UK government in particular seems to be engaged in mammoth exercise of expectation management. (Expectation management is much less of an issue for the EU, partly because Brexit is not a priority for the public in most EU countries and partly because, as the Brexiters liked to remind us in 2016, the commission is unelected anyway.)
Here is our overnight story by Daniel Boffey and Jessica Elgot.
This morning Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, told journalists a deal was still possible. He said:
We are going to give every chance to this agreement … which is still possible. A good, balanced agreement.
Two conditions aren’t met yet. Free and fair competition … and an agreement which guarantees reciprocal access to markets and waters. And it’s on these points that we haven’t found the right balance with the British. So we keep working.
Barnier was speaking before a private meeting, where he updated EU ambassadors on the process. Reuters has recently filed this account of what was said.
Britain and the EU made some limited progress in their trade talks, the bloc’s Brexit negotiator said on Monday, but remain at odds over state aid provisions and have moved further apart again on fisheries, according to a senior Brussels diplomat.
The diplomat spoke under condition of anonymity after the negotiator, Michel Barnier, updated the 27 national envoys to the EU hub Brussels on Monday morning.
The diplomat said there had been “some limited progress” on the enforcement mechanism but there had been disagreement over state aid and “backtracking” on fisheries.
Here is the agenda for the day.
9am: Sir Keir Starmer hosts his ‘Call Keir’ phone-in on LBC.
9.30am: The ONS publishes a report on the impact of coronavirus on different ethnic groups.
9.30am: The ONS publishes figures on deaths among homeless people.
10.30am: Prof Sir Michael Marmot publishes a report covering the impact of Covid on health inequalities.
12pm: Downing Street is expected to hold its daily lobby briefing.
12.15pm: Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, is expected to hold her daily coronavirus briefing.
12.15pm: The Welsh government is expected to hold a coronavirus briefing.
2.30pm: Priti Patel, the home secretary, takes questions in the Commons.
2.30pm: Senior civil servants give evidence to the Commons public accounts committee about PPC procurement during the pandemic.
After 3.30pm: MPs debate Lords amendments to the internal market bill.
Politics Live is now doubling up as the UK coronavirus live blog and, given the way the Covid crisis eclipses everything, this will continue for the foreseeable future. But we will be covering non-Covid political stories too, like Brexit, and when they seem more important or more interesting, they will take precedence.
Here is our global coronavirus live blog.
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Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Brexit: EU ambassadors told of ‘some limited progress’ in trade talks at meeting with Barnier – live | Politics