Brussels and Downing Street have played down speculation about a breakthrough in Brexit talks. Reports that a Brexit deal could safeguard the City’s access to European Union markets led to an increase in the value of sterling.
Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab is preparing for six hours of talks with the EU's chief negotiator. He will meet Michel Barnier in Brussels on Friday for the extended session ahead of an EU summit on 17 October. Both sides are hoping to agree a divorce deal and a statement on future trading relations before the summit.
The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, will visit Berlin and the Netherlands in the coming days to meet with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Dutch authorities before assembling her government to finally decide what commercial relationship her country wants with the European Union (EU) in the future, commented her spokesman on Monday.
The German government on Wednesday sought to pour cold water over Britain's hopes of a bespoke post-Brexit arrangement for financial services. German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman told reporters that Berlin's focus would remain on preserving a unified stance among the 27 EU nations as Brexit negotiations prepare to enter a critical phase. Britain's financial services industry is expected to be one the main battlegrounds in the next stage of talks.