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The Brussels diplomat was given permission to finally negotiate on the “substance” of the future relationship agreement. The move is a climbdown from the European Union’s previous refusal to start drafting a joint legal text before agreements are found on future fishing opportunities and controls over state subsidies to businesses. Mr Barnier held crisis talks with UK counterpart Lord Frost to find a solution to end the impasse.

The Frenchman said: “As stated by President von der Leyen on Friday, I confirmed that the EU remains available to intensify talks in London this week, on all subjects, and based on legal texts.

“We now wait for the UK’s reaction.”


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