WORCESTER'S MP says he believes a trade deal with the European Union is still the most likely outcome after events this week.

Earlier this week the UK published a bill to rewrite parts of the withdrawal agreement it signed in January.

Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis later admitted it would break international law as the bill gives ministers powers to "disapply" parts of the rules, agreed last year, for goods that cross in and out of Northern Ireland.

This then caused a row with the European Union ahead of the latest round of trade talks, with the Prime Minister setting a five week deadline to agree a trade deal, with the opposition saying no deal could now be back on the table.

Robin Walker, who is also a Northern Ireland minister, said: "I don't think that is the case.

"The main aim is still to get a trade deal.

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"I have been in Northern Ireland - businesses want unfettered access to the UK and by far the most straightforward way to deliver that is with a trade deal between the UK and the EU so that British businesses are trading on the same terms.

"The NI protocol is there as an international agreement to fall back on, but what we are saying is we need to do so in a way that protects our commitment to Northern Ireland.

"It is not about going back on any commitments, is about how we deliver those commitments.

"Of course we all want to see the maximum amount of certainty with a deal in place as soon as possible.

"It is always the case these EU negotiations do tend to go to the very last minute. I still think the most likely outcome from all this is there will be a deal in place by the end of the year."

Harriett Baldwin, West Worcestershire MP, said: “The UK left the EU on January 31 with a Withdrawal Agreement which has been enacted.

"The UK and the EU have committed legally to reaching an agreement on our future partnership in good faith by the end of the year and the government is working hard to achieve that outcome which would benefit both sides.

"In any negotiation, you also need to be able to walk away if the other side is making unreasonable demands.”