Brexit LIVE: Rishi Sunak readies talks on £185bn global trade agreement before EU deadline

Brexit: Michel Barnier 'played a blinder' claims Mummery

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UK ministers and business groups held initial discussions with the World Trade Organisation and internally.

An agreement would allow the UK to export services such as banking, insurance and legal advice.

Under proposals considered by Whitehall officials, these services would be exported to fast-growing economies across the world in Africa and Asia.

It comes just weeks ahead of a deadline with the EU to strike an agreement on financial services which would allow the City to freely sell across the Channel.

However, Brussels has refused to grant equivalence to the UK in the memorandum of understanding talks.

Express.co.uk understands the EU talks have stalled with officials more confident on striking a WTO agreement fearing discussions with Brussels could collapse.

One official added to this publication: “It will be the ultimate Brexit boom.”

They stressed any potential deal would make London one of the “biggest financial capitals of the world.”


Conservative MP Mel Stride, chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, said: “Where I sense we are moving is to look more to multilateral and international arrangements.

“Basically to be more outward-facing, rather than in the EU’s orbit.”

The latest figures from the ONS reveal UK exports of services rose by 14.3 percent in 2018 to £185.3 billion.

Meanwhile, imports of services increased by 17.0 percent to £92.1 billion.


8am update: Arlene Foster calls for Alternative to NI Protocol 

Arlene Foster has called for the “disastrous” Northern Ireland Protocol to be dismantled.

The First Minister said the protocol has been “absolutely devastating” for Northern Ireland.

She also warned of an avalanche of checks on goods arriving into the region after grace periods end, insisting that was not what Brexit was about.

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