United Kingdom must prepare for ‘no deal’ Brexit, says PM Boris Johnson

  • United Kingdom must prepare for ‘no deal’ Brexit, says PM Boris Johnson

United Kingdom must prepare for ‘no deal’ Brexit, says PM Boris Johnson

Daniel Kawczynski, MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham said chief negotiator David Frost was right to call a halt to further talks after the European Union said the future of a deal depended on Britain conceding on key demands.

French President Emmanuel Macron said European Union leaders were united in their approach to Brexit, that they supported the continuation of talks and had tasked Barnier to pursue them for two weeks.

"There is only any point in Michel Barnier coming to London next week if he's prepared to address all the issues on the basis of a legal text in an accelerated way, without the United Kingdom required to make all the moves or to discuss the practicalities of travel and haulage", he said. AP's earlier story follows below.

There may yet be a UK-EU free-trade deal, although no deal presently looks more likely than ever.

Mr Johnson said "now is the time for our businesses, hauliers and travellers to get ready", however he remained willing to do mini-deals on areas where progress had been made, including on social security coordination, or aviation, road haulage and nuclear cooperation.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the bloc still wants a deal, "but not at any price". He didn't say they won't keep on talking.

"As planned, our negotiation team will go to London next week to intensify these negotiations", she said on Twitter.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Europe's most powerful leader, said after the summit that compromise would be needed for a deal.

But EU leaders interpreted his tough talk as mostly bluster.

The prime minister had threatened to walk away if there was no agreement by the time of the EU Summit, which began yesterday. In Brussels a deal seems closer than ever. This is in the interests of communities across Northern Ireland and in every part of the UK.

"Given that they have refused to negotiate seriously for much of the last few months, and given that this summit appears explicitly to rule out a Canada-style deal, I have concluded that we should get ready for January 1 with arrangements that are more like Australia's based on simple principles of global free trade".

"Unless there is a fundamental change of approach, we're going to go for the Australia solution".

Industry has reacted with alarm at the suggestion, warning of the damage to an economy already stricken by coronavirus if there was no deal by the end of the year.

Responding to the warning issued at an EU summit, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said previously that "we are all disappointed and surprised by the outcome of the European Council".

"There is a deal to be done but there needs to be flexibility on both sides", he told the BBC.

He said the issues yet to be resolved were "narrow", relating to fisheries and competition.

He would probably be prepared to sacrifice a big slice of British fishing rights as well as sovereignty over state aid, especially in return for unrestricted City of London "passporting" rights in Europe's financial markets.

Britain accuses the bloc of seeking to impose demands that it has not placed on other countries it has free trade deals with, such as Canada. "So they will", the diplomat said.

The Prime Minister went on to make similar comments at a Number 10 press conference when asked to explain his stance. "This of course means that we, too, will need to make compromises", she said.

The prime minister's chief negotiator Lord Frost is understood to have told Mr Barnier in a telephone conversation on Friday evening that there would be "no basis" for talks on Monday given the EU's position.