As Britain and the EU reach the final stages of talks on Brexit there is now renewed hope that a deal may well be struck. After Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen have agreed to “go the extra mile” in resumption of discussions in Brussels.
Britain and EU vow to try and push a Brexit deal: After a telephone call to the president of the European Commission the Prime Minister played down expectations. However, EU embassies in Brussels were briefed that progress had been made. And were also told that the next few days will be vital. British negotiators are expected to remain in Brussels until at least Tuesday if not longer.
Reports overt the weekend suggested that sources had put the chance of a “no deal” at 80%. However, the phone call on Sunday suggests that a “firm decision” would be made on the details of trade and security. Whilst Johnson said on Friday it was “very, very likely” the talks would end in failure. A statement was released by both parties shortly after the telephone conversation however. Which read “Despite the exhaustion after almost a year of negotiations, despite the fact that deadlines have been missed over and over. We think it is responsible at this point to go the extra mile.”
It went on to say that both sides had to take the responsibility to keep trying, saying “We had a useful phone call this morning. We discussed the major unresolved topics. Our negotiating teams have been working day and night over recent days. We have accordingly mandated our negotiators to continue the talks and to see whether an agreement can even at this late stage be reached.” In a separate statement Johnson said he had briefed officials in the cabinet for a “no deal”, saying that his request was rejected to open talks with Paris and Berlin. His statement read “The commission is very determined to keep the negotiations the way that they have been done between us, and that’s fine.
“The most likely thing now is of course that we have to get ready for WTO [World Trade Organization] terms, Australia terms, and don’t forget everybody, we’ve made huge preparations for four and a half years … perhaps more intensively in the last couple of years.”
He went on to add “I think that the UK should continue to try. And I think that’s what the people of this country would want me to do. We’re going to continue to try and we’re going to try with all our hearts and we’ll be as creative as we possibly can. But what we can’t do is compromise on that fundamental nature of what Brexit is all about.” Former minister Iain Duncan Smith said “It is dawning on European leaders that we are serious about leaving without a deal.
“We are now at the end of the beginning. Between now and the 31st is where we will get serious compression.” He finished off by saying “If push comes to shove, they can give themselves a bye post-31 December of a month while the sides sort out their legislation, as long as these issues are sorted satisfactorily.”
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