Wednesday 8 January 2020 5:06 pm

Downing Street signals an overhaul to Brexit talks ahead of trade phase

Downing Street has signalled an overhaul to the way it will approach talks in the second phase of Brexit, the Prime Minister’s press secretary said today.

In a further sign that talks under Boris Johnson’s team will be markedly different to those carried out in Theresa May’s tenure, the press secretary said Downing Street would no longer be adopting the mantra that “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” – opening up the suggestion that sector-specific deals could be on the table.

“We are very clear we want to get on in terms of negotiating a deal, so maybe the approach of nothing is agreed until everything is agreed which characterised previous negotiations is not an approach that we are interested in taking,” he said.

“There is a future security and relationship partnership that we envisage, and that will be things we are discussing with our EU partners and allies.”

He pointed to Johnson’s “oven-ready” deal, saying it “hasn’t been defrosted, Frosty is still in the building” – a reference to the Prime Minister’s sherpa David Frost.

The spokesman also confirmed that trade talks are likely to be carried out in tandem with the US.

“We are very clear that we want to secure a deal with EU by the end of December 31, but there is clearly a rationale for opening trade relations with the US after we leave on January 31 as well,” he told City A.M.

“The idea of talking to the US and starting those negotiations after we leave on January 31 is absolutely something we will be exploring.”

Main image: Getty