A source from Downing Street has argued that it is “possible but far from certain” that a post-Brexit trade agreement with Brussels could be agreed.
The Cabinet minister today suggested that, although there are still major differences between the UK and the EU, hopes of a deal are rising.
Negotiators continue to hold talks in Brussels, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Ursula von der Leyen of the European Commission are in close contact to attempt to resolve the remaining challenges.
Holyrood passes a Brexit bill to help Scotland “keep pace” with EU law
Before the current transition period for leaving the EU ends Dec. 31, both sides are attempting to reach an agreement.
Cabinet Secretary Robert Jenrick said he is “reasonably optimistic” that before current trade arrangements expire at the end of the month, a late agreement will be reached.
In close contact (Aaron Chown/PA) are Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen (
The most likely outcome, Mr. Johnson has previously said, is the failure of a deal with the U.K. It is then necessary to rely on the terms of the World Trade Organization (WTO) – that is, tariffs and quotas on trade with the EU.
There were still “serious disagreements” over fisheries and “level playing field” measures to prevent unfair competition on standards and government subsidies, Jenrick informed Sky News.
The prime minister has made it very clear that he will negotiate to the end, which is Dec. 31, because that’s the right thing to do, that’s what the British public would expect,”We are working through these issues, our negotiators will continue – the prime minister has made it very clear that he will negotiate to the end, which is Dec. 31, because that’s the right thing to do, that’s what the British public would expect,”We are working through these issues, our negotiators will continue.
“But at the moment there is not sufficient progress, it’s not an agreement that the prime minister believes he can sign us to because it doesn’t yet fully respect us as a sovereign, independent nation.”
France warned that, simply because the deadline was approaching, the EU would not be pressured to agree to an agreement.
Clement Beaune, French Minister of European Affairs, said that a no-deal situation would be ‘catastrophic’ for Britain, and suggested that the EU should hold out.
Brexit: The optimism that the Brexit trade agreement with the European Union can be reached is increasing
“We should not put ourselves under time pressure as Europeans to finish by this hour or this day. Otherwise, we would put ourselves in the situation of making bad concessions.”
Prime Minister Micheal Martin of Ireland held out the prospect of officials working on the text of the Christmas Day Brexit deal, should there be a breakthrough by then.
The Taoiseach said he and other EU leaders were ready to support any deal that might emerge from the Brussels-British government negotiations.
EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier said on Tuesday that they were doing a “final push” to reach an agreement and that this was a “decisive moment.”
(Victoria Jones/PA) Michel Barnier
Earlier, former Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt of the European Parliament said the truck queues in Kent were a sign of things to come.
Mr. Verhofstadt said in a tweet, “We forgot what borders look like. Some thought they would stay open with or without the EU. Now they will start to understand what leaving the EU really means.”
When asked if there was a link between the action by French President Emmanuel Macron to close the French border and the Brexit negotiations, Mr. Jenrick said, “I hope not.”