Published: Sun, October 18, 2020
Economy | By

"Brexit talks are over" - Johnson

The EU said it saw several more weeks of detailed talks ahead that would by their very nature have to deal with legal wording, and said both sides would have to budge.

London's rhetoric met with angry reaction in the EU, with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, suggesting the bloc would rather walk away from the negotiations as well but would not give in to Britain's pressure.

More than 70 British business groups representing over 7 million workers made a last-ditch attempt on Sunday to persuade politicians to get back to the negotiating table next week and strike a Brexit deal.

'They want the continued ability to control our destiny and freedom, our fisheries, in a way that is completely unacceptable, ' he said. "Unless there is a fundamental change of approach we are going to go for the Australia solution", Johnson said in London.

"For whatever reason, it is clear from the summit that after 45 years of membership, they (the EU) are not willing, unless there is some fundamental change in approach, to offer this country the same terms as Canada", complained Johnson.

"The announcement by the Prime Minister that we need to start preparing for no deal is profoundly disappointing, especially for the people of Northern Ireland", he said.

"He and Michel Barnier agreed to talk again early next week".

"What we have seen is the European Union side have not been willing to produce the detailed legal text, they have not be willing to intensify the talks in a way that they are actually serious about reaching an agreement".

Nicola Sturgeon has said she feels "deeply frustrated and depressed" by the prospect of a no-deal Brexit while the United Kingdom is still dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Britain formally left the European Union on January 31, but the two sides have been haggling over a deal that would govern trade in everything from auto parts to medicines when informal membership known as the transition period ends December 31.

But this week he said he would extend that limit after signs the Council might compromise, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the bloc needed to be "realistic" on fishing access.

Ministers privately claim that it could take "years" for the United Kingdom to return to the negotiating table if the current transition period ends without a trade agreement on Jan 1.

But many economists say it would be devastating for British businesses, which are already struggling with huge economic hits from the coronavirus pandemic.

He believed what Prime Minister Boris Johnson's aim now is not necessarily to "have a spectacular deal" by the end of 2020, but a "Canada deal" or an Australia model, which is a minimum deal is quite possible.

'The EU continues to work for a deal, but not at any price, ' she tweeted.

Main sticking points remain fishing and the so-called level playing field - rules aimed at stopping a country gaining a competitive advantage over a trade partner.

'I am not blasé about the challenges, but if the choice is between arrangements that tie our hands indefinitely, or where we can shape our own future, then that's no choice at all'.

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