Brexit: Johnson urges UK to prepare for ‘likely’ no deal scenario
Brexit remains unresolved today, the day British and EU negotiators should have finalised talks. EU Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen and Boris Johnson have announced yet another stalemate, leaving the country and bloc’s relationship in limbo. Their solution is, once again, to provide an extension; the second in just over a week.
When have Brexit talks been extended to?
Following a call today, the European Commission President hailed the weekend’s bilateral talks as “constructive and useful”.
But the Prime Minister cast a more downbeat analysis, stating the UK and the bloc remain “still very far apart”.
Despite the “endgame” deadline today, they will continue to negotiate, as the UK hurtles towards a potentially damaging default to World Trade Organisation (WTO) trade terms.
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Mr Johnson and Ms Von Der Leyen issued a joint statement on the situation, committing to further talks.
But they didn’t offer a fixed date for the next round of negotiations.
They said: “We had a useful phone call this morning. We discussed the major unresolved topics.
“Our negotiating teams have been working day and night over recent days.”
“And despite the exhaustion after almost a year of negotiations, despite the fact that deadlines have been missed over and over we think it is responsible at this point to go the extra mile.
“We have accordingly mandated our negotiators to continue the talks and to see whether an agreement can even at this late stage be reached.”
Speaking to the BBC this morning, Mr Johnson said the British teams would go “the extra mile”.
He said: “We’re going to keep talking to see what we can do, the UK certainly won’t be walking away from the talks, I think people expect us to go the extra mile.”
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Without an agreed end, the last-ditch date for talks would fall on December 31.
The date marks the end of the transition period and would see the UK and EU impose tariffs on each other’s trade.
Leaving without an agreement would ultimately plunge the bloc’s relationship with the UK into turmoil, potentially affecting the latter more, with clashes over fisheries, and food and medicine shipment disruption.
Several issues stand in the way of negotiations coming towards the deadline.
Officials have reached an impasse on fisheries and the “level playing field”.
Response to disagreements regarding coastal fishing grounds has already shown how unwilling the Government is to compromise on fishing.
Ministers have put four Royal Navy vessels on standby should the UK leave the EU on January 1 without a deal to “protect” British fisheries from boats which stray into their jurisdiction.
News of this potential cause of action has already caused backlash amongst politicians, both in the UK and EU.
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