Boris has been left little choice with negotiations in a deadlock but to sidestep EU negotiator Michel Barnier and talk directly with EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen.
The Prime Minister has been in “close contact” with EU chief Ursula von der Leyen as both sides seek a breakthrough before the deadline next week.
Downing Street source confirmed both sides have spoken as “there isn’t long left” to find an agreement. The commission chief wants to secure a deal and is said to be actively lobbying EU coastal states to accept Britains offer on fisheries.
Barnier isn’t happy after discovering he was left in the dark, not knowing the two spoke in connection with negotiations. Ursula did this as she wanted to give more ground to Britain.
Last night Michel Barnier told diplomats that most areas are finalised, but negotiations around fishing have been difficult to bridge. Barnier said: The UK is “not moving enough yet to clinch a fair deal on fisheries”. With speculation saying Britain has compromised on fisheries, a Downing Street source outright rejected the claim.
The EU also claimed that an extension to the transition period was on the cards. Again Downing Street rejected this claim saying: “The teams continue to work very hard to find an agreement, but significant gaps remain. We would need to have an agreement in place ahead of January 1,” the source said. “We will not extend the transition period.
“We’ve clearly set out the reasons that we will not extend the transition period. It would bind us into future EU legislation, without us having any say in designing it, but still having to foot the bill. We need to avoid endless prolonged negotiations stretching into next year and provide certainty to our citizens and businesses as soon as possible.”