Boris Johnson news: Threat of no-deal Brexit returns as UK and EU harden trade positions and PM on collision course with France over 'blackmail' claim

Ashley Cowburn, Peter Stubley, Conrad Duncan

The UK and EU have hardened their stances ahead of the upcoming trade talks, as France warned they would not be ‘blackmailed’ into accepting a bad deal.

Boris Johnson has insisted that the transition period will not be extended beyond 31 December, raising the renewed prospect of a no-deal Brexit.

Meanwhile civil servants have been told to stop leaking, following reports that Priti Patel is demanding a formal leak inquiry into hostile briefings and allegations of bullying.

It comes as voting opens in the Labour leadership contest, with the party’s half a million members, registered supporters and affiliates facing a choice of Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, or Lisa Nandy, to succeed Jeremy Corbyn on 4 April.

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