Today Brussels refused to hand Britain a Canada-style trade deal despite being members of the bloc for 45 years. In a televised statement, Mr Johnson lashed out at the EU and warned the UK will not hesitate in going for the “Australia solution”.
And now, Express.co.uk is asking whether Mr Johnson should make good his threat and walk away from negotiations.
Last month, Mr Johnson gave the EU up until October 15 to agree on a deal to allow time for both sides to ratify an agreement before the end of the transition period in December.
However, the deadline came and went with Mr Johnson giving the bloc a further 24 hours to agree on a deal.
But it appears this extended deadline proved not to be successful.
Boris urged to walk away from Brexit talks
UK Brexit negotiator David Frost
In a text adopted by the summit of EU leaders on Thursday, Brussels signalled it was willing to continue trade talks but demanded the UK “make the necessary moves to make an agreement possible”.
During negotiations, the two parties have struggled to come to an agreement over key issues like fisheries and chances of a no deal scenario remain very high.
Fishing rights have been one of the main issues in discussions.
Under the controversial Commons Fisheries Policy (CFP), all member states are given access to EU waters via quotas.
EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier
As the UK has a large coastal area, critics have often argued the system is unfair.
In his televised speech, Mr Johnson said: “From the outset we were totally clear that we wanted nothing more complicated than a Canada-style relationship based on friendship and free trade.
“To judge by the latest EU summit in Brussels, that won’t work for our EU partners.
“They want the continued ability to control our legislative freedom, our fisheries in a way that is completely unacceptable to an independent country.
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“And since we have only 10 weeks until the end of the transition period on January 1, I have to make judgment about the likely outcome and get us ready.
“And given that they have refused to negotiate seriously for much of the last few months and given that this summit appears explicitly to rule out a Canada-style deal, I’ve 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.”
Australia does not have a comprehensive trade agreement with the EU.
Much of EU-Australia trade follows default World Trade Organisation rules, though specific agreements are in place for certain goods.
Boris urged to walk away from Brexit talks
The Prime Minister went on to insist the UK will “prosper mightily as an independent free trading nation”.
He continued: “We can do it because we always knew there would be change on January 1 whatever type of relationship we had and so now is the time for our businesses, our hauliers, for travellers to get ready.
“And of course we are willing to discuss the practicalities with our friends where a lot of progress has already been made, by the way on such issues as social security and aviation, nuclear cooperation and so on.
“But for whatever reason, it is clear from the summit that after 45 years of membership, they are not willing, unless there is some fundamental change of approach, to offer this country the same terms as Canada.
European Council president Charles Michel
“And so with high hearts and complete confidence, we will prepare to embrace the alternative and we will prosper mightily as an independent free trading nation, controlling our own borders, our fisheries and setting our own laws.
“And in the meantime, the Government will of course be focused on tackling Covid and building back better so that 2021 is a year of recovery and renewal.”
Despite a no deal outcome looking more and more likely to happen, the European Council president Charles Michel admitted he wants to end talks with a deal in place.
He tweeted: “We want an agreement but we also want to protect the level playing field.
“It’s a question of fairness and the integrity of the single market.”
Published at Fri, 16 Oct 2020 14:09:24 +0000