European Union has 'abandoned' trade pact with United Kingdom, says Johnson

Boris Johnson set for make-or-break decision on Brexit talks

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.

He said that "unless there is some fundamental change of approach" from the EU, Britain's favoured approach for an all-encompassing deal was out.

"With high hearts and with complete confidence, we will prepare to embrace the alternative and we will prosper mightily as an independent free-trading nation, controlling and setting our own laws", he added. "… Unless there is a fundamental change of approach we are going to go for the Australia solution", he said in London.

Von der Leyen said, in a tweet, "As planned, our negotiating team will head to London next week to intensify these negotiations".

"I have concluded that we should get ready for January 1 with arrangements that are more like Australia's based on simple principles of global free trade", Johnson said, adding he was very disappointed to the comments made by the EU.

He called on British businesses, haulers and travelers to get ready since there are only 10 weeks until the end of the transition period due on December 31, 2020.

"As far as we're concerned the trade talks are over", Johnson's official spokesman told reporters.

Brussels intends to continue talks next week.

Nonetheless, it would be inaccurate to portray Boris Johnson as a dyed-in-the-wool Brexiteer, let alone a No Dealer.

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief executive Mike Hawes warned it would have a "devastating impact" on the automotive sector, hitting jobs "in every region of Britain". The two sides have been trying to strike a deal on trade and other relations before then, and say in practice it must be agreed this month if it is to be ratified by year's end.

Johnson's political opponents in the United Kingdom also criticized his stance.

But both sides still want a deal, the process has not broken down and there is still time to reach an agreement.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Europe's most powerful leader, said after the summit that compromise would be needed for a deal. "Businesses call on leaders on both sides to stay at the table and find a route through". They want the continued ability to control our legislative freedom, our fisheries, in a way that is obviously unacceptable to an independent country.

European Union officials have said Britain, with the world's xth largest economy posing a much bigger competitive challenge than distant Canada, is geographically too close to Europe to offer London a Canada-style deal.

A tumultuous "no deal" finale to the United Kingdom's five-year Brexit crisis would sow chaos through the delicate supply chains that stretch across Britain, the European Union and beyond, just as the economic hit from the coronavirus pandemic worsens.

"If there is no deal, European fishermen will have no access to British waters whatsoever".

The prime minister's chief negotiator Lord Frost is understood to have told Mr Barnier in a telephone conversation on Friday evening that there would be "no basis" for talks on Monday given the EU's position.

The prime minister had set this week as the deadline for the two sides to agree a deal, but there are still major disagreements over fishing rights and state help for businesses.

"Any tariffs or any delays at the border will make it harder for goods to flow freely, whether those are foods or medicines", she said.



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