Brexit: EU gives go-ahead for 'more intense' talks" width="976" height="549">
Steve Barclay held talks with Michel Barnier in Brussels
EU countries have given the go-ahead for more "intensified" Brexit talks to take place, the BBC has been told.This comes after a meeting between Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay and EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, described by both sides as "constructive". The UK is due to leave the EU at 23:00 GMT on 31 October.A summit next week is seen as the last chance for both sides to agree a deal before the Brexit deadline.UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson put forward revised proposals for a deal last week.
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Following his "technical" discussion with Mr Barclay in Brussels, Mr Barnier told reporters: "Be patient." He added: "Brexit is like climbing a mountain. We need vigilance, determination and patience."
Skip Twitter post by @adamfleming
I hear the EU27 have agreed to some form of intensified negotiations with the UK but it's not clear how they're going to be described, what the premise is and under what conditions. I bet the word "tunnel" will not feature.— Adam Fleming (@adamfleming) October 11, 2019
End of Twitter post by @adamfleming
Earlier this week, several senior EU figures played down the chances of Brexit happening with a deal agreed to by both sides.But on Thursday, Mr Johnson and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar held a one-to-one discussion - described by both as "very positive and very promising".Mr Varadkar said talks were at a "very sensitive stage" but he was now "convinced" the UK wanted a deal, adding: "I do see a pathway towards an agreement in the coming weeks."With less than three weeks to go until the Brexit deadline, Mr Johnson continues to insist the UK will leave the EU with or without a deal at the end of the month.That is despite the so-called Benn Act - passed by MPs last month - demanding he request a delay to the Article 50 deadline from the EU until January 2020 if a deal has not been agreed before 19 October.Should any new deal be reached between the EU and UK, it will still have to be approved by MPs in Parliament.
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