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EU says post-Brexit talks continue, UK denies

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European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier leaves after a press conference on the first day of the face-to-face European Union (EU) summit at the European Council Building in Brussels, on October 15, 2020. – European leaders meet to re-examine the post-Brexit talks under pressure from English Prime Minister to give ground or see Britain walk away with no trade deal. (Photo by OLIVIER HOSLET / POOL / AFP)

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen on Friday said European negotiators will be in London next week to pursue post-Brexit talks, despite a threat by Britain to abandon negotiations.

“As planned, our negotiation team will go to London next week to intensify these negotiations,” von der Leyen said in a tweet.

A European source said the UK had agreed to pursue talks, but this was not confirmed by Britain.

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“The ‘trade’ talks are over,” a UK source told AFP in a text message.

“The EU have effectively ended them and we aren’t going to take part in a nonsense process. Only if the EU fundamentally changes position will it be worth talking.”

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The EU’s negotiator, Michel Barnier, on Thursday proposed to prolong the stalemated talks, after debriefing EU leaders on the state of the talks.

But Prime Minister Boris Johnson accused the EU of failing to negotiate seriously and said Britain should “get ready” to operate on stripped-down World Trade Organization rules from January, “unless there is a fundamental change of approach” from Brussels.

Barnier and his British counterpart David Frost were expected to speak later on Friday to figure out the next steps, if any.

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