Johnson and von der Leyen to physically meet in attempt to break Brexit deadlock

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Johnson And Von Der Leyen To Physically Meet In Attempt To Break Brexit Deadlock Johnson And Von Der Leyen To Physically Meet In Attempt To Break Brexit Deadlock
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Harriet Line, PA Deputy Political Editor

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen look set to meet in person this week, in a bid to break the stalemate in post-Brexit trade deal talks.

Mr Johnson will travel to Brussels in an attempt to bridge significant differences in talks over level playing field, governance and fisheries.

Mr Johnson and Ms von der Leyen spoke on the telephone on Monday evening, and agreed to ask their chief negotiators to prepare an overview of the “remaining differences”.

The leaders will then discuss them in person in a physical meeting in Brussels “in the coming days”.

In a joint statement, they said: “As agreed on Saturday, we took stock today of the ongoing negotiations.

“We agreed that the conditions for finalising an agreement are not there, due to the remaining significant differences on three critical issues: level playing field, governance and fisheries.

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“We asked our chief negotiators and their teams to prepare an overview of the remaining differences to be discussed in a physical meeting in Brussels in the coming days.”

EU diplomatic sources and officials said there was virtually no progress in UK trade talks on Monday and some said the sides might have actually moved further apart on sealing a new agreement.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said that Wednesday is a hard deadline for reaching an agreement and that "political intervention from the very top" was needed to break the impasse.

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