BRITAIN has been warned to make the most of the little time left to get a trade deal.
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has told the UK government that the ‘door remains open’ amid renewed hopes of a withdrawal agreement.
He tweeted: “My message: we should be making the most out of the little time left. Our door remains open”.
His message came after a telephone call between Mr Barnier and British counterpart Lord David Frost in which the European diplomat offered to “intensify” negotiations.
A No10 spokesman said: “This was a constructive discussion.
“The UK has noted the EU’s proposal to genuinely intensify talks, which is what would be expected at this stage in a negotiation.
“However, the UK continues to believe there is no basis to resume talks unless there is a fundamental change of approach from the EU.
“This means an EU approach consistent with trying to find an agreement between sovereign equals and with acceptance that movement needs to come from the EU side as well as the UK.
“The two teams agreed to remain in close touch.”
Mr Barnier’s offer to work on the trade talks and negotiations on draft legal texts covering all areas of future trade, fishing and security deal could remove longstanding rifts and help create “level playing field” ahead of the December 31 exit date.
In the Commons, Micheal Gove welcomed Mr Barnier’s comments.
He said: “There has been a constructive move on the part of the European Union and I welcome that, and obviously we need to make sure that we work on the basis of the proposed intensification that they propose – and I prefer to look forward in optimism rather than necessarily to look back in anger.”