Published On: Sun, Sep 6th, 2020

Brexit talks: Boris refuses to PROLONG talks as EU admits negotiations will prolong | UK | News

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The two sides have failed to progress negotiations and will meet for crunch talks next week as no deal fears in Europe escalate. Ahead of those negotiations, Mr Johnson has insisted a free trade agreement must be finalised in time for the crucial European Council summit on October 15. If no agreement is made, he insisted the UK will walk away from negotiations without a deal.

In a statement, Mr Johnson said the two sides are now entering a crucial phase of negotiations but that he still hoped for a deal with the EU.

He said: “We are now entering the final phase of our negotiations with the EU.

“The EU have been very clear about the timetable. I am too.

“There needs to be an agreement with our European friends by the time of the European Council on 15 October if it’s going to be in force by the end of the year.

“So there is no sense in thinking about timelines that go beyond that point.

“If we can’t agree by then, then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on.”

The two sides have been unable to come to an agreement on the issues of state aid and fisheries.

The EU wants the UK to sign up to a level playing field on state aid amid fears European companies may suffer an unfair advantage.

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Ahead of crunch talks, the UK’s chief negotiator, David Frost says the UK is not afraid of leaving talks without a deal.

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, he said: “Obviously, lots of preparation was done last year into a no deal, we are ramping up again and have been for some time under Michael Gove’s authority.

“I don’t think that we are scared of this at all.

“We want to get back the powers to control our borders and that is the most important thing.

“If we can reach an agreement that regulates trade like Canada’s, great.

“If we can’t, it will be an Australian-like trading agreement and we are fully ready for that.”

Additional reporting by Macer Hall and Joe Barnes.

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