United Kingdom officials will stop attending most European Union meetings from 1 September

Steve Barclay said officials will only go to EU meetings that really matter

Steve Barclay said officials will only go to EU meetings that really matter

United Kingdom representatives will stop attending EU meetings from September 1, in order to focus on future relationships with the European Union and other nations, the Brexit Department said.

The government has announced today that local authorities in the North West including Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester will receive extra funding to help fully prepare for Brexit, which is due to happen on October 31. The rest will be ignored, sending a clear message that Britain is serious about leaving the regional group at the end of October.

"The allocations have been based on a number of factors including the expected impact on the local area, the amount of European Union goods received by port areas into the country and the area's wider importance to the UK's trade network". "Businesses still need clarity on many other cross-border trade issues, such as customs procedures at borders following a no-deal exit and when the government will launch an official database to provide ease of access to information on tariffs and quotas".

The number is called an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) and works by allowing British companies to to continue to trade with customers and suppliers in the European Union once Brexit happens on Halloween.

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"Our diligent, world-class officials also spend many hours preparing for them whether in reading the necessary papers or working on briefings".

Downing Street hit back at Tusk on Tuesday afternoon saying Britain was still ready to negotiate an alternative and that no infrastructure, checks or controls would be placed at the Irish border.

British Chambers of Commerce head Adam Marshall said: "Businesses do not want a messy and disorderly no-deal Brexit on October 31, but given the ticking clock, it's prudent that both Government and industry be as prepared as possible".

The EU response underlines the stalemate over the backstop.

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It comes as part of the Government's ramped-up preparations for a no-deal Brexit.

The Monday phone call ended with neither side agreeing a way forward.

Less than 50% of UK-based businesses have begun making contingency plans for a potential no-deal Brexit.

"As a departing member state it makes sense to "unshackle" officials from these European Union meetings to enable them to better focus their talents on our immediate national priorities", a spokesman said.

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