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The number of people in work in Britain rose in the last three months of 2019, according to data which underscored how the labour market defied a slowing of the broader economy ahead of December’s election.

The number of people in work jumped by 180,000 to 32.934 million, at the top end of forecasts in a poll of economists.

Full-time employment accounted for most of the growth while self-employment also rose strongly, the Office for National Statistics data showed.

PM’s top negotiator, David Frost warned Brussels has “failed to see the point” of the Brexit vote.

Mr Frost hit out at the EU’s demands for a level playing field. The EU has demanded both countries negotiate from that position, but the UK has insisted the idea of Brexit is to break away and become an independent nation, this not adhering to EU standards.

Frost added, Brexit is not a “negotiating position” but the vision for Britain post-2020.

Talks between are set to begin in two weeks but Brussels has warned the UK could face a decade-long struggle to negotiate future customs tariffs.

Mr Johnson has so far maintained the UK will set its own rules and will not follow any EU regulations post-Brexit.

A Government spokesman said: “We want a relationship based on friendly co-operation between sovereign equals, one centred on free trade and inspired by our shared history and values.”

As it stands the Brexit transition stage is set to conclude on December 31, 2020.  The UK does have the opportunity to ask for an extension before that date. The deadline for the extension must be taken at the start of July.

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