The next round of Brexit talks have been delayed a week to "allow more time for consultation"

The next round of Brexit talks will start on 25 September (Source: Getty)

The UK and the European Commission have agreed to delay the next round of Brexit negotiations by a week, saying they need more time for consultation.

British and EU officials were scheduled to meet on 18 September for the fourth round of talks, but they will now meet on the 25 September instead.

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The official reason given for the delay is to allow both sides more time for consultation, to "give negotiators the flexibility to make progress in the September round."

But earlier this month Guy Verhofstadt said this latest round of talks was being pushed back to make way for Theresa May to give a mystery intervention - a speech to the leaders of the EU27 - in the same week.

The EU's chief negotiator, Michael Barnier, has stressed the need to be flexible, but has also warned the "clock is ticking" to reach an agreement by the time the UK is set to leave the bloc, at the end of March 2019.

Talks between the two sides, with Brexit secretary David Davis leading the UK's approach, have been taking place once a month since June.

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Meanwhile, the government's EU Withdrawal Bill passed after debate stretched out throughout yesterday night. MPs backed the bill by 326 votes to 290, boosted by a handful of Labour rebels.

In total, seven Labour MPs, Ronnie Campbell, Frank Field, Kate Hoey, Kelvin Hopkins, John Mann, Dennis Skinner and Graham Stringer, voted with the government.

The vote occurred after hours of intense discussion, with a slew of MPs keen to have their views heard, and the government looks set to face a series of proposed amendments at future stages of debate.

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