Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis has said a decision by EU chiefnegotiator Michel Barnier to stay on in London this week to continue talks ona post-Brexit trade deal is a “very good sign”.
The talks had been expected toswitch to Brussels but it is reported that Mr Barnier is to remain in the UKuntil Wednesday – in part because of the high coronavirus infection rates inthe Belgian capital.
Mr Lewis told BBC1’s The Andrew Marr Show: “The fact thatMichel Barnier has outlined in the last week or so that they are going to comeback and do these intensive negotiations, he recognises the EU do need tomove, and that he is staying through to next week, is totally a very goodsign.
“We have got to make sure that it is a deal that works not just for ourpartners in Europe – we want to have a very good relationship with themobviously – but one that works for the United Kingdom.
“I think there is agood chance that we can get a deal but I think it is for the EU to understandthat it is for them to move as well.”