Brexit trade talks could go past Sunday, Dominic Raab admits

Brexit trade talks could go past Sunday, Dominic Raab has admitted.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab admitted the talks could go on beyond today
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab admitted the talks could go on beyond today

The Foreign Secretary today suggested the negotiations could go beyond the latest deadline that was set of today.

Appearing on Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday, Mr Raab refuse to rule out the talks going beyond that and insisted there was still the chance of a deal.

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He said: “I can’t close the door on it but I think there is a way that the EU’s got to go to give us the reassurance on those two points.

“Of course if we’re 99 per cent there on the outstanding issues, you wouldn’t want to leave any stone unturned but I think it’s quite a high bar.”

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The Prime Minister will speak to the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen around lunchtime today, in a move Mr Raab labelled "important".

He said: “The technical talks matter – getting creative solutions, understanding each other’s positions really matters.

“But what ultimately is required at this eleventh hour of the negotiation is moving the political logjam.

"That can only happen at the level of the Prime Minister and Commissioner von der Leyen.”

The senior UK Government minister argued that there needed to be political “willing” to secure a Brexit trade deal, and called for the EU to compromise.

He said: “You remember the PM has made clear we want to leave no stone unturned, so we’ve been at it very hard at the working technical level, with all the usual jousting of positions

“But what really matters is what the EU is willing at a political level to commit to.

“But I think we need to be really clear there’s two fundamental issues at stake – the issue of fisheries and the issue of the so-called level playing field.

“We want to be treated like any other independent self-respecting democracy.

"If the EU can accept that at a political level then there’s every reason to be confident, but there is still I think a long way to go.”

It comes as Britain's former ambassador to the EU warned a deal was unlikely today.

Sir Ivan Rogers said: “It’s a very different question as to whether we get it by the end of the year.

“I think it’s odds against today, but I’m not sure the talks will break down today either.

“Most of these deadlines in Brexit over many years have carried on being broken and I suspect this might be the latest, but we will see.”

With the talks stalling, this morning Labour’s shadow business secretary Ed Miliband accused Mr Johnson of “playing Russian roulette” with the livelihoods of the public.

Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, he demanded the PM accept the reality of the situation.

He added: “This is a man who is cavalier with our national interest and frankly Andrew, he is playing Russian roulette with the jobs and livelihoods of people up and down the country.

“How dare he say it’ll be a wonderful outcome when we know the impact on our farmers.”

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