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Brexit LIVE: Boris to secure deal within 10 days – Commons ready to sit on Christmas Eve

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Brexit: Richard Tice reveals no deal ‘opportunities’

Express.co.uk understands UK officials are keen to get a deal secured before Christmas but the UK and EU refused to set a new fixed deadline. Time is tight with only two weeks left in order for a deal to be secured but it is hoped be secured as soon as possible with signs the EU may be giving into the UK position on “respecting sovereignty”.

A Whitehall source close to the negotiations told Express.co.uk a deal would be ideal before Christmas Eve as discussions remain deadlocked on state aid, the level playing field and fisheries. 

They added: “Extra work is needed but we are hoping they [Michel Barnier and the EU] will deliver us a happy Christmas present.

“There certainly is some light at the end of the tunnel, before Christmas would be an ideal time to secure a deal.”

Michael Barnier is expected to brief the approach to the Bloc’s ambassadors this morning following the phone call between Mr Johnson and Mrs von der Leyen

 

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The pair spoke for 20 minutes on the phone yesterday lunchtime and was described as “perfectly cordial” by officials. 

A joint statement issued by the two leaders said: “Our negotiating teams have been working day and night over recent days.

“And despite the exhaustion after almost a year of negotiations, despite the fact that deadlines have been missed over and over we think it is responsible at this point to go the extra mile.”

However, extended talks could mean Parliament may be forced to sit over the festive period to vote on any agreement.

Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, said: “If needs be, the House is the servant and I am happy as being that servant to ensure we can run, as far as I’m concerned, even up to Christmas Eve.

“I would like to believe we can finish on the Monday before Christmas. I would like to put everything to bed and get everybody away from here.”

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8am update: Sharma pleads with Brits not to panic buy 

Business Secretary Alok Sharma urged people not to engage in panic buying ahead of a possible failure to reach a trade deal with the European Union.

With supermarkets stockpiling ahead of January 1, Mr Sharma told Sky News: “I’m very confident that actually, the supply chains will still be in place.

“I would say to everyone just do your normal shopping as you would do and I think we will find we are going to be absolutely fine.”

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