Theresa May went to Brussels yesterday but her talks with Jean-Claude Juncker did not lead to agreement on the text of the final Brexit withdrawal deal documents to be signed off at the EU summit on Sunday. She is going back on Saturday to have another go. Our overnight story summing up developments is here.
But don’t worry, Matthew Hancock, the health secretary, told the nation this morning. In an interview on the Today programme he rejected claims that the talks were in trouble and said it was normal in EU negotiations of this kind for agreement to be delayed until the very last moment. When it was put to him that it was all going wrong, told the programme:
I don’t think so. My understanding of the discussions last night are that we’ve been making good progress on the future relationship …
We all know that EU negotiations always come down to the last minute. The last time I was in this studio you had Michel Barnier [the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator] and he said to me, ‘These deals always happen at the last minute possible, or sometimes a little bit afterwards’, and that’s how the EU negotiates. We are negotiating well. I’ve had a report from the negotiations yesterday and they are constructive and making progress.
As usual, there will be a lot more on this to come.
Here is the agenda for the day.
10.30am: Parliament’s intelligence and security committee publishes a report about the 2017 terror attacks.
10.30am: Andrea Leadsom, the leader of the Commons, takes questions in the Commons.
12.30pm: Theresa May meets Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian chancellor, in Downing Street ahead of Sunday’s proposed EU emergency summit to agree the Brexit withdrawal agreement. Austria holds the rotating presidency of the EU.
As usual, I will also be covering breaking political news as it happens, as well as bringing you the best reaction, comment and analysis from the web. I plan to post a summary at lunchtime and another when I wrap up, around 5pm.
If you want to follow me or contact me on Twitter, I’m on @AndrewSparrow.
I try to monitor the comments BTL but normally I find it impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer direct questions, although sometimes I miss them or don’t have time.
If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter.