Talks back on track
Gove positive about Brexit deal as EU changes tone
Michael Gove: ‘I’m confident there will be a deal‘
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove claims a “change of tone” in Brussels makes a free trade deal with the EU more likely.
While the UK government has continued to state publicly that a deal could be struck by the end of December deadline, Mr Gove’s comments to the media in Northern Ireland were interpreted as distinctly more positive than in recent months.
“I’m confident that there will be a deal, I think there has been a welcome change in tone over the last few weeks,” he told reporters in Portadown.
“The omens are good for a deal. Now of course there is some tough talking to do. I believe that there will be a successful negotiated outcome.”
His comments come amid indications that the EU is willing to compromise on its insistence that Britain complies with the bloc’s rules on state aid, according to sources who have spoken to the Reuters agency.
A dispute-settling mechanism could be introduced rather than obliging the UK to follow the bloc’s own fair-competition rules from the outset.
“The relationship that we have with the European Union is constructive, pragmatic and impressive,” Mr Gove said.
Britain and the EU have planned more trade negotiations between now and 2 October, two weeks before a summit at which the bloc hopes to endorse any agreement with London.
Deal close with Japan
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and UK Trade Minister Liz Truss “have reached consensus on the major elements of a deal,” according to a statement from the UK department.
Both have announced that they will agree on the principles of a trade deal by the end of August.
The two countries have by and large reached an agreement, although automotive tariffs and agricultural products have been a sticking point in the negotiations.
The UK is seeking to clinch a trade agreement with Japan based on the 2019 EU-Japan agreement by the end of the year.