Despite appearing to walk away from last-minute talks with the European Union on a post-Brexit trade deal, the message coming out of 10 Downing Street sounded more positive.

A spokesman for the British prime minister said: “We note with interest that the EU’s chief negotiator, speaking to the European Parliament this morning, has commented in a significant way on the issues behind the current difficulties in our talks.”

Had the EU fundamentally changed its position, as Boris Johnson had demanded last Friday?

Perhaps the EU’s attitude has changed in appearing more ready to recognise that the UK is once more a sovereign nation, rather than a state that wishes to accept many of the Union’s givens, such as shared fishing rights.

On Wednesday, as noted by the BBC, EU negotiator Michel Barnier told the European Parliament that sovereignty was “a legitimate concern,” for the UK prime minister. This statement on its own could remove the current logjam in talks.

FILE PHOTO: Michel Barnier