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Brexit news – live: EU talks resume in London as Marcus Rashford visits food charity amid school meals debate

EU Chief negotiator Michel Barnier wears a face mask as he arrives at St Pancras station

Post-Brexit trade talks between the UK and European Union will continue in London today as the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned both sides have a “common responsibility” to strike a deal.

Mr Barnier is expected to continue discussions with his UK counterpart Lord Frost after Boris Johnson’s deadline for a deal passed last week.

It came as footballer Marcus Rashford visited a food charity with his mother following an outpouring of support for his campaign to get free school meals extended over the winter holidays.

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Marcus Rashford visits food charity after government blocks free school meals plan

England footballer Marcus Rashford and his mother have visited a food charity which is naming a new warehouse in her honour following his campaign to secure access to free schools meals for children.

The pair’s visit to FareShare Greater Manchester came a day after a Labour motion for the free school meals scheme to be extended over school holidays until Easter 2021 was defeated by the government in the House of Commons.

The campaign has been championed by Mr Rashford, who called for people to “unite” to protect the most vulnerable children in the UK.

“When we stumble, there will always be a community to wrap their arms around us and pick us back up,” he said, adding that for many people this help would come from food banks staffed by volunteers.

The Manchester United striker, who is an ambassador for the national food redistribution charity FareShare, previously forced a government U-turn on free school meal vouchers over the summer holidays.

“We are disappointed with the outcome of the vote, which would have been the first step on the road to providing some peace of mind to the millions of struggling UK families,” Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare UK, said.

“FareShare continues to provide over two million meals each week to vulnerable communities across the UK and we stand ready to provide all the food we can obtain, so we can continue supporting those families and children that seek help to access good, healthy food.”

Conrad Duncan23 October 2020 08:22

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UK signs free trade agreement with Japan

International trade secretary Liz Truss has signed a free trade agreement with Japan, hailing it as the dawn of a new era of free trade for the UK.

The UK-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Cepa) was agreed in principle last month, when Labour warned that the net benefit of the deal would amount to just 0.07 per cent of GDP.

In a statement, Ms Truss said the deal was a “landmark moment for Britain”.

“It shows what we can do as an independent trading nation, as we secure modern and bespoke provisions in areas like tech and services that are critical to the future of our country and the reshaping of our economy,” she said.

“Trade is a powerful way to deliver the things people really care about.”

Conrad Duncan23 October 2020 08:12

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Our reporter, Vincent Wood, has more details below on Michel Barnier’s trip to London for the latest round of Brexit talks:

Conrad Duncan23 October 2020 08:08

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‘Every day counts’: Barnier in London for new round of Brexit talks

Post-Brexit trade talks between the UK and European Union will continue in London today following a warning that there was a “common responsibility” for both sides to strike a deal.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, is expected to continue discussions with his UK counterpart Lord Frost on Friday as the deadline for an agreement looms.

“I think we have a huge common responsibility,” Mr Barnier told reporters as he arrived in London on Thursday evening.

“Every day counts.”

Talks have been in limbo since Boris Johnson’s deadline for a deal passed last week but both sides have suggested they are willing to compromise to find an agreement.

The main stumbling blocks are understood to be fishing rights, the governance of any deal and the so-called “level playing field” aimed at preventing unfair competition.

Downing Street acknowledged this week that “significant gaps” remained between the two sides and it was “entirely possible that negotiations will not succeed”.

Conrad Duncan23 October 2020 08:02

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Hello and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of UK politics today.

Conrad Duncan23 October 2020 07:55

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