PUBLISHED: 09:56, Sun, Oct 25, 2020 | UPDATED: 09:56, Sun, Oct 25, 2020
The EU and UK have embarked on an intensified final phase of Brexit talks today after Britain agreed to lift its block on negotiations. The breakthrough came after a call between the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and his British counterpart David Frost, with both sides agreeing to restart talks. Negotiations had been deadlocked since last week because of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's decision to demand a “fundamental” rethink from the bloc before allowing further meetings.
Mr Barnier and Lord Frost agreed on a 10-point plan for this “next and final phase of the negotiations”, including working through weekends and establishing a “small joint secretariat” “to hold a master consolidated text”.
However, a Downing Street spokesperson said "it is clear that significant gaps remain between our positions in the most difficult areas", such as fisheries and the level playing field.
Mr Johnson had criticised a statement adopted by EU leaders at a summit last week that called on the UK “to make the necessary moves to make an agreement possible”, saying there was no point continuing talks if all concessions needed to come from the British side.
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, though, Brexiteer and former Ukip MP Douglas Carswell suggested that there is an area Britain could easily compromise in to reach a deal.
Brexit fury: Boris Johnson could make concessions on fishing to reach deal (Image: GETTY)
EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (Image: GETTY)
He said: "It may be possible to do a phased deal on fisheries
"It may be possible to say 'it is an adjustment process for everyone, so let's phase the arrangement over a period of three to four years.
"I think most British eurosceptics would accept that if the end goal was national sovereignty and if we got there in a way respectful to the environment
"It could be done in a phased way, yes.
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Image: GETTY)