October 2, 2017 / 1:16 PM / 10 months ago

UK still hopeful of moving EU talks onto future ties: junior minister

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Britain’s junior Brexit minister said on Monday he was hopeful that EU negotiators would agree to move on to discuss future relationships in October, even after the head of the European Commission said it would take “miracles” for that to happen.

The Union Flag and a European Union flag fly near the Elizabeth Tower, housing the Big Ben bell, during the anti-Brexit 'People's March for Europe', in Parliament Square in central London, Britain September 9, 2017. REUTERS/Tolga Akmen

“I am very hopeful that everyone will see the mutual advantage” of moving on to a discussion of the future relationship in October,” Steve Baker told an event at the Conservative Party’s annual conference.

Britain has been seeking to push the talks beyond the terms of the divorce and on to future ties, including trade, at a European meeting later in October. But Jean-Claude Juncker appeared to dash those hopes when he said last week that the first stage of talks had not made enough progress.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper, writing by Kate Holton, editing by William James

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