Frustrated leaders in the EU have said they are now stepping up preparations for a possible no-deal as the set negotiation deadline for the 18th November will now be missed. This date was established in the hope they could discuss the outlined arrangement in a video conference between the EU chief and UK PM on Thursday, but that’s now fell through.
The stalling of a deal is said to be down to arguments over fishing rights and rules around state aid. The tension in negotiations has risen. One diplomat said: “You can expect some strong words from leaders that the EU will be within days of operating in a no-deal scenario, and the Commission has been tasked to activate contingency planning.”
The EU has said that if a deal isn’t outlined by Saturday, then they don’t hold much hope for a deal being completed in time for the transition period end of year date.
Michel Barnier is said to be speaking to heads of all member states on Friday saying if a deal is possible. If the message is positive, then Barnier will ask for more time to seek a deal.
One EU official labelled the talks perfectly. What we are seeing is “Groundhog day”.
Boris, on the other hand, has said, he is far from certain if a deal could be done in the timeframe set. The PM continues to say he is working hard to try and secure a deal but will not give up British waters to complete a deal.
A spokesperson for Mr Johnson said: “The PM said that his position hasn’t changed. The UK is keen to secure a deal with the EU but not at the cost of our core principles around sovereignty and control over our laws, borders, money – and our fish.”
“We are working hard to find solutions which fully respect UK sovereignty, but it is far from certain that an agreement will prove possible and time is now very short.
“The PM said that if we cannot find suitable compromises with our European friends, we will leave the transition period on Australia-style terms on 1st January.”
“The PM said he was incredibly confident that the UK will thrive with or without a free trade agreement with the EU.”
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