LONDON – ‘Philosophical differences’

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove urged the EU on Sunday (17 May) to show flexibility to bridge the “big philosophical differences” between the two sides, after the chief negotiators for the EU and the UK admitted that last week’s talks had done little to break the stalemate.

The UK government is set to publish its own draft trade treaty this week in a bid to persuade EU member states to force compromises from the European Commission.

However, with the prospects of an EU-UK trade deal being agreed by December getting slimmer, opposition parties are demanding that Boris Johnson’s government changes its position on ruling out an extension to the transition period, with Labour spokesperson Rachel Reeves stating that “the last thing our country and our economy needs at the moment is a further shock that could put jobs and livelihoods at risk”.

Lawmakers from the Scottish National Party, Liberal Democrats and the Green Party, have also written to EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, expressing their support for an extension.

(Benjamin Fox |

Subscribe to our newsletters