Oct 22, 2020 08:06 UTC
  •  UK changes tone on progress of EU post-Brexit trade talks

In the latest twist to UK-European Union (EU) post-Brexit trade talks, the British government now says it is “ready to welcome the EU team” to continue protracted negotiations.

The apparent breakthrough occurred following a telephone call between the UK’s Brexit negotiator, Lord David Frost, and the European Commission’s Michel Barnier.   

Downing Street claims the pair had “jointly agreed a set of principles for handling this intensified phase of talks”.

But in a statement, Downing Street was careful to add that it was “clear that significant gaps remain between our positions in the most difficult areas”.

And on an ominous note, Downing Street suggested that it was “entirely possible that negotiations will not succeed”.

According to Lord Frost, the talks are set to resume in London on Thursday (October 22).

Previously, the UK had canceled a meeting in London (scheduled for Monday October 19) on the grounds that progress was improbable.

The cancelled meeting followed a series of mixed messages from British leaders and officials on the status of the talks.

If the two sides fail to reach a deal by December 31, the UK will seek to trade with the EU on what it calls “Australian terms”, which effectively means following World Trade Organization rules.