In Brief

What is the UK demanding from the EU to avoid a no-deal Brexit?

Michael Gove says door is still ‘ajar’ to secure trade agreement with Brussels

Michael Gove has said the door is “still ajar” for talks with the EU over a post-Brexit trade deal - but only if Brussels speeds up negotiations and offers concessions.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr yesterday, Gove said: “We have drawn the conclusion that unless their approach changes, they are not interested and they have in effect drawn stumps.”

However, despite Boris Johnson’s statement on Friday suggesting that official negotiations were over, Gove added: “We hope the EU will change their position and we are certainly not saying if they do change their position we can't talk to them.”

London has two main demands that need to be met if last-minute trade talks are to resume, a senior government source told Politico’s London Playbook.

The UK wants chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier to indicate that Brussels is willing to work night and day for a deal - “i.e. actually intensively”, says the site’s Alex Wickham.

Downing Street also wants Barnier to acknowledge that “it isn’t just Britain that has to compromise, in effect to apply pressure to French President Emmanuel Macron to row back from his current line on fish”, Wickham adds.

EU officials are speculating that the threat to quit the talks is mere theatre, with another unnamed source telling London Playbook that “Johnson walks away loudly over a load of nothing, comes back claiming he’s scored a victory, then signs up to the deal that was on the table all along. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before”.

Indeed, while “Downing Street will need to appear tough by pushing back against an immediate resumption of the trade and security negotiations, sources on both sides expect the current suspension to be short”, with talks kicking off again within days, reports The Guardian.

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