UK and EU trade talks set to resume

EU negotiator Michel Barnier says compromise would be needed from both sides to get a deal.
EU negotiator Michel Barnier says compromise would be needed from both sides to get a deal.

The British government and the European Union will resume stalled trade negotiations in London, the UK government says - days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared the talks over.

UK officials declared the talks at an end last week, accusing the bloc of expecting Britain to make all the concessions to get a deal.

He said they could only proceed if the bloc made a "fundamental" change of policy.

Since then, the EU has agreed to "intensify" talks - a key K demand - and to discuss the legal text of an agreement.

But Johnson's Downing Street office said on Tuesday that it wasn't a big enough change to resume negotiations.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier struck a further conciliatory note on Wednesday and said compromise would be needed from both sides to get a deal.

That turned out to be the key.

Johnson's office said that on the basis of Barnier's words it was "ready to welcome the EU team to London to resume negotiations later this week" for "intensified" talks.

Barnier told the European Parliament that "despite the difficulties we've faced, an agreement is within reach if both sides are willing to work constructively, if they are willing to compromise".

Barnier spokesman Daniel Ferrie said EU negotiators would travel to London on Thursday.

The two sides have been trying to strike a trade deal since the UK left the EU on January 31.

They must do so within weeks if an agreement is to be ratified by the end of the year, when a post-Brexit transition period ends.

Australian Associated Press