Brexit: ‘Mood music’ positive for talks, Nicky Morgan says

Nicky Morgan Image copyright EPA Image caption Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan said “speculation doesn’t really help” and politicians needed to “stand back and give those negotiations and discussions the best chance of succeeding”

The “mood music” on negotiations between the UK and the EU on a potential Brexit deal “seems positive”, the culture secretary has said.

Nicky Morgan reiterated that “lots of details” needed be to be worked out between both parties, after the EU had agreed to “intensify” talks.

On Thursday Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Boris Johnson said they could “see a pathway to a possible deal”.

The UK is due to leave the EU at 23:00 GMT on 31 October.

Ms Morgan told Radio 4’s Today programme: “There’s no doubt that things do look promising.

“The mood music – as you say – seems positive, but clearly there are lots of details that need to be worked out, and strong views on all sides.”

She added that “speculation doesn’t really help” and politicians needed to “stand back and give those negotiations and discussions the best chance of succeeding”.

“Intense technical discussions” between the UK and the EU began on Saturday morning, after about a dozen British officials, including UK EU adviser David Frost, arrived in Brussels overnight.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar held talks on Thursday in Thornton Manor, in the Wirral

Speaking in Cyprus on Friday, European Council President Donald Tusk said he had received “promising signals” from the Irish PM.

“Of course there is no guarantee of success and time is practically up, but even the slightest chance must be used,” he added.

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Media captionBoris Johnson: Brexit is not a done deal

On Friday Mr Johnson said there was “a way to go” before a deal could be reached.

The prime minister put forward revised proposals for a deal last week, designed to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland after Brexit.

He said there was not “a done deal”, adding: “The best thing we can do now is let our negotiators get on with it.”

Brexiteer Sir John Redwood believes the prime minister should “table a free trade agreement” which would “unlock” most of the issues around borders and immigration.

He added: “I think the border issue is greatly exaggerated, because it is in the interest of the European Union and Ireland to exaggerate it.”

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