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Latest Brexit news: Boris Johnson says UK is preparing for no-deal Brexit




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Negotiations between Britain and the European Union are set to continue next week, even after Boris Johnson said he believed a trade deal was now unlikely.

The Prime Minister said the UK will now prepare to leave the single market and the EU customs union at the end of the year without a new deal in place.

He criticized the bloc for refusing to “negotiate seriously” in recent months, but left the door open for further discussions. He said he would still be ready to hear from the European side if they came back with “a fundamental change of approach”.

Last month, the British leader set a deadline of October 15 for a deal to be reached – or clearly within sight – saying there would be no point in continuing negotiations beyond this week without progress adequate.

Read more:Canada’s and Australian models for post-Brexit trade: QuickTake

Key developments:

  • Chief negotiators David Frost and Michel Barnier to meet on Friday
  • EU’s von der Leyen says his team will travel to London next week to intensify talks
  • The pound fluctuated between gains and losses before trading little – at $ 1.2912 at 3:05 p.m. in London

Merkel extends an olive branch (2:40 p.m.)

Chancellor Angela Merkel offered Johnson an olive branch, signaling that the EU should take a step in London’s direction, especially on what is known as a level playing field.

“We must also be ready to compromise,” Merkel told reporters in Brussels after the Brussels summit. “If we want to have an agreement, then the two sides have to take a step towards each other.”

Merkel said the talks are the opposite of a conventional trade deal because the two sides are trying to negotiate “the new distance” between them.

UK says trade talks complete (2:08 p.m.)

Britain considers trade talks with the EU “over,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson spokesman James Slack told reporters on Friday, adding that the EU had effectively ended them by saying that it was up to the UK to change its position.

“Trade negotiations are useless if the EU does not change its position,” Slack said. He added that EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier is only due to visit London next week if he is ready to discuss “all issues on the basis of legal texts”. (See 1:45 p.m.)

Macron says UK is using fish as a tactic (1:55 p.m.)

French President Emmanuel Macron insisted that his desire to maintain access to UK fishing waters was not the roadblock to a deal.

“Fishing is used by the UK in a tactical way,” he said. “Why? Because if there is no agreement, this is the only subject on which Boris Johnson can say ‘I won’.” The choices of EU member states “are not designed to make the Prime Minister of Great Britain happy, ”he added.

Fish are chips in post-Brexit trade negotiations: QuickTake

Brinkmanship for now, real talk later (1:45 p.m.)

How to interpret Johnson’s statement? British officials want the message to be that trade talks are on hold. But their European counterparts are signaling that they expect to be back in London on Monday as if nothing had happened. The reality is somewhere in between.

The two chief negotiators, David Frost and Michel Barnier, who have a better relationship than the state of the talks suggests, will meet on Friday afternoon and work out a plan. At some point during this conversation, the rope mastery will likely stop and the two will quietly figure out how to get things done. This will probably depend on three things:

  • The EU is going beyond Thursday’s summit communiqué, which failed to mention that negotiations would intensify. Von der Leyen’s tweet (see 12:42) seems to have already done so.
  • The EU which agrees that it must make compromises. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after the EU leaders’ summit in Brussels that the EU “must also be ready to compromise”.
  • Both sides are preparing to start work on the legal text of the agreement.

Businesses Not Ready for No Deal (1:39 p.m.)

According to Mike Cherry, national president of the Federation of Small Businesses, businesses still don’t know what business relationship they will face with the EU in the allotted time, and many don’t have the resources to prepare.

“The government is basically saying brace yourself for a no-deal outcome, even though a deal could still happen,” Cherry said in a statement. “The last time we were told to prepare for a no-deal scenario, you saw a huge increase in inventory. There just isn’t the money or the staff capacity to make it possible this time around, with many employees still on leave in the face of low demand.

Merkel says “time is running out” (1:17 p.m.)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the EU will continue to seek an agreement.

“It would be in the mutual interest to reach an agreement, but of course we have to be prepared if not,” she said after a summit of EU leaders in Brussels. “For us in the Council, the talks that will continue in the days to come are above all else.”

UK has yet to agree to talks (1:10 p.m.)

The EU assumes that talks will continue in London on Monday as scheduled. But the UK side has yet to accept this or discuss it with the bloc – and it will only happen if the bloc’s negotiators are ready to start working on a legal text and compromise, according to one. person familiar with the UK Government’s Position.

UK Food Lobby Says UK is in ‘Dangerous Territory’ (1:07 PM)

“The Prime Minister’s statement indicates that we are heading into very dangerous territory,” Ian Wright, chief executive of the Food and Drink Federation, a British lobby group, said in a statement. “We need leaders on both sides to find a way out of the current stalemate in order to move the negotiations forward.”

Without a trade deal, food and beverages imported from the bloc would face tariffs of 18% on average, pushing up prices, Wright said.

EU’s Von der Leyen says his team will travel to London (12:42 p.m.)

Bloc negotiators will travel to London next week to “step up” their talks with the UK, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a tweet.

What would an Australian-style accord mean? (12:34 p.m.)

An Australian Brexit is essentially a rebranded “no deal” Brexit. Companies would trade on terms set by the World Trade Organization in most areas, with tariffs on goods and an agreement on processes to reduce some regulatory barriers.

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