British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said both the UK and European Union need to "step up the tempo" as the Government prepares to intensify talks with Brussels.

Downing Street has said the UK's Brexit negotiators will sit down with their EU counterparts twice a week during September "with the possibility of additional technical meetings, to discuss a way forward on securing a new deal".

Mr Johnson's chief Brexit negotiator David Frost met this week with the EU's Article 50 Taskforce and agreed that talks would be intensified in the coming weeks.

The prime minister said that from his first day in office he has been determined to get a deal done.

He added: "While I have been encouraged with my discussions with EU leaders over recent weeks that there is a willingness to talk about alternatives to the anti-democratic backstop, it is now time for both sides to step up the tempo.

"The increase in meetings and discussions is necessary if we are to have a chance of agreeing a deal for when we leave on October 31, no ifs no buts".

Two meetings between the UK and EU negotiators are scheduled to take place next week.

Mr Frost will be joined in Brussels by relevant officials including experts on customs, regulatory issues and trade policy.

Mr Johnson said the two sides remain "some distance apart on key issues but that both sides are willing to work hard to find a way through".

He also confirmed that talks between the UK and EU will continue throughout the period that Parliament is prorogued ahead of a Queen's Speech.

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