Sterling slumps as Boris warns Britain is prepared for no deal Brexit

  • Sterling slumps as Boris warns Britain is prepared for no deal Brexit

Sterling slumps as Boris warns Britain is prepared for no deal Brexit

Both made it clear they would accept "no deal" before compromising on key issues.

The prime minister is likely to set out his vision of a Canada-style free trade agreement, with hopes of no tariffs or quotas on trade in goods.

"Prime Minister Johnson rubbished these claims and called out anti-American voices during his speech, when he said: "...

"The question is whether we agree a trading relationship with the European Union comparable to Canada's - or more like Australia's", he said in the Painted Hall at the Greenwich Royal Naval College where grand 18th Century paintings celebrate Britain's naval power. But the offer is contingent on two principles: the United Kingdom must agree to a level playing field over the long term and on a fisheries deal offering continued reciprocal access to United Kingdom markets and waters.

European Union negotiator Michel Barnier underscored the difficulties of the trade negotiations with Britain ahead for the rest of the year when he highlighted the small but emblematic fisheries industry, which was a key issue in the protracted Brexit process in the United Kingdom too.

But failure to offer a deal on fisheries would mean that so-called "passporting rights" for financial services, one of the UK's main industries, would not be covered by a trade deal, Barnier added.

Given the short time frame, Barnier said topics will be worked on in parallel, while the focus will be on progressing those areas where the consequences of a no-deal separation would be most serious.

There are just 11 months from now until the deadline of 31 December 2020.

A post-Brexit "transition period", in which relations stay essentially unchanged, runs until the end of 2020. The British protest that such conditions were not imposed on Canada in exchange for its free trade agreement with the Europeans. But it is adamant it won't agree to follow the EU's entire rule book in return for unfettered trade, because it wants to be free to diverge in order to strike other new deals around the world.

Britain has asked for the EU's trade deal with Canada to be used as a model, which Europeans consider acceptable on tariffs and quotas, but too weak on provisions to guarantee fair trade.

Mr. Johnson's speech to diplomats, business leaders and others in the baroque surroundings of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, south London, was predictably more colorful and political than Mr. Barnier's technocratic news conference in Brussels.

The EU would require "mechanisms to uphold the high standards we have in social, environmental climate, tax and state aid matters today, and in their future developments", said Barnier.

European Union leaders have repeatedly warned that the timetable is tight to strike any kind of deal.

"Humanity needs. some country ready to take off its Clark Kent spectacles and leap into the phone booth and emerge with his cloak flowing as the supercharged champion of the right of populations of the earth to buy and sell freely among each other", he said, referring to Superman's alternate character.

Both sides also released documents outlining in detail what they want from the talks, which must be concluded by the end of the year.

On Sunday Number 10 fired an opening salvo in what is likely to characterise the negotiations that lie ahead over every aspect of the UK's relationship with the European Union - negotiations the European Union have insisted are unrealistic within the 11 months time frame Boris Johnson insists on.