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Boris Johnson set to intervene in Brexit talks in ‘final push’ for trade deal

UK prime minister Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen from the European Commission - Credit: PA

Boris Johnson is set to intervene in Brexit talks this week in a final push to clinch a trade deal with the EU.

The prime minister is said to be preparing for a call with Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, in a last-minute attempt to secure a Brexit deal.

Brussels has said negotiators have until next Tuesday to settle contentious issues such as fishing rights and level playing field provisions.

Talks were hampered last week after a member of Michel Barnier’s team last week tested positive for coronavirus, leading to a temporary suspension of talks.

MORE: Police chief ‘not sorry’ after saying Brexiteers were ‘turkeys voting for Christmas’

News of the call comes after a commentator on European matters claimed a Brexit deal was ‘days away‘.

The BBC’s Europe editor Katya Adler was responding to reports that 95% of the legal text is now agreed, with Adler claiming that the “general expectation is a deal will be done in the next few days”.

Appearing on The Andrew Marr Show, she explained: “Some progress is being made here. The general expectation is a deal will be done in the next days or couple weeks but the political decisions need to be taken.

“If an agreement is made, the sides will have to think about how they sell this deal.”

A source close to the negotiations told the Telegraph that “both sides seem to think we will get there” but that “nothing is certain”.

The source said: “The negotiators are nearly there on an awful lot of things, but the areas of disagreement – state aid in particular – cuts across a lot of other areas.

“We are not in the final moments yet but this week will see the start of the final push.

“I would expect that at some point this week the prime minister or Ursula von der Leyen will have to make an intervention.”

This comes as it was claimed the UK would reject an EU demand to insert a review clause on fishing rights.

The clause would see negotiations re-open in 2030 if member states were unhappy with the direction of the UK’s fisheries policy.

One diplomat told the Times: “This is an idea on the European side to try and get a deal across the line for EU countries at the final moment. It is not yet in the draft but probably will be.”