Mr Macron threw a spanner into the works on Thursday when he said the terms of any free trade deal would have to be overseen by a robust independent regulator. A UK Government source warned the chances of a deal were fast “receding” as Brussels tabled “new elements” in talks just four weeks from the Brexit transition deadline.
Express.co.uk conducted a poll asking if the last-minute demands from the French were enough to walk away from the negotiating table.
The overwhelming majority said it was time for the Prime Minister to turn his back on the EU’s negotiating team, led my Michel Barnier.
Ninety-eight percent of readers who took part (14,110) said Mr Johnson should walk while only two percent (309) said he should continue negotiating.
Just 43 people (less than one percent) said they didn’t know.
In comments, many readers said Mr Johnson should have already called it a day and departed the negotiations to prepare for a no-deal exit.
One person said: “Stand up, Boris. Straight backbone, turn your heel and WALK, head held high.
“You did everything you could – MUCH MORE than necessary, but that’s the British way. WALK!”
Another put the blame for the crumbling talks solely on the shoulders of Mr Macron.
“A deal, where the UK effectively has no say over the future rules of trade is hardly ‘taking back control’.
“In fact, it is worse control-wise than what we had when we were in the EU!
“The UK should be either fully in the EU, or fully outside the EU – there is no compromise half in-half out position.
“WTO will mean a big hit on the UK economy, but a half-hearted deal with the EU would be consigning the UK to an EU vassal status.”
Another person simply said Mr Johnson “should have walked away on Feb 2nd and saved us millions.”
On Friday Mr Barnier and Lord Frost paused trade talks to call in their leaders to try to narrow gaps and get an agreement over the line, less than four weeks before Britain completes its Brexit journey out of the bloc.
After failing to agree the basis for a deal, the chief negotiators said they would brief leaders to seek new impetus for the talks, which stumbled on Thursday when London accused Brussels of making new demands.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will speak to try to break the impasse, which sources said was centred on French demands over fishing rights in British waters.
A total of 14,462 readers took part in the poll which ran from 12.15pm to 10pm on Friday, December 4.
Published at Fri, 04 Dec 2020 22:31:00 +0000