UK’s PM says Brexit failure still ‘most likely’

Agence France-Presse

BREXIT. A picture taken on January 23, 2020 shows the European Union flag and the British Union Jack waving in front of the European Parliament in Brussels.

File photo

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says 'there's still a deal to be done if our partners want to do it'

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Sunday, December 13, he still hoped for a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union but that failure remains the “most likely” outcome.

“I’m afraid we’re still very far apart on some key things, but where there’s life there’s hope,” he told reporters, after agreeing with EU commission chief Ursula von der Leyen to push on with talks despite the passing of a self-imposed deadline.

The pair had said they would decide whether or not a deal was possible by the end of the weekend, but agreed in a phone call to “go the extra mile” before the UK leaves the EU’s single market on December 31.

“The UK certainly won’t be walking away from the talks. I still think there’s a deal to be done if our partners want to do it,” Johnson said at 10 Downing Street after briefing his cabinet about the call.

He said “we’re going to try with all our hearts and we’ll be as creative as we possibly can.”

But Britain could not compromise on the “fundamental nature” of Brexit, controlling UK laws and fisheries, he said.

“The most likely thing now is of course we have to get ready for WTO terms,” Johnson added, referring to tariffs and quotas on the basic rules of trade set by the World Trade Organization.

“There is a clarity and a simplicity in that approach that has its own advantages. It’s not where we wanted to get to… but the UK is prepared,” he said. –

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