10 December 2020 | UK NEWS
The Prime Minister arrived in Brussels yesterday for what is being billed as the final showdown between the UK and EU with regards to the ongoing trade negotiations.
Boris Johnson had dinner with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last night and the two sides have continued the ongoing negotiations today in an attempt to break the deadlock.
Tonight, following a day of negotiations, the Prime Minister said: “There’s a strong possibility that we will have a solution much more like Australian relationship with the EU than a Canadian relationship with the EU.”
A Government spokesperson also said today in statement that there had been “a frank discussion about the significant obstacles which remain in the negotiations”.
“Very large gaps remain between the two sides and it is still unclear whether these can be bridged.”
Ursula von der Leyen also tweeted out a statement from the EU that went along similar lines. She wrote: “We had a lively & interesting discussion on the state of play on outstanding issues. We understand each other’s positions. They remain far apart. The teams should immediately reconvene to try to resolve these issues. We will come to a decision by the end of the weekend.”
She also tweeted earlier that “there is no guarantee that if & when an agreement is found it can enter into force on time”, along with an impression of the EU’s subsequent contingency measures.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has also announced that the negotiations will likely not go on past Sunday.
As things currently stand, the UK will leave the EU on the 31st December on No Deal terms.
In preparation for a No Deal scenario, the EU has set out a contingency plan that would see one year’s access to each other’s fishing grounds and a half-year provision of unencumbered air and road travel between the UK and the EU.
The UK Government responded by saying that it had “been clear throughout it would not agree to anything that did not respect UK sovereignty”. A Downing Street official also said: “We would never accept arrangements and access to UK fishing waters which are incompatible with our status as an independent coastal state.”