“Given that we only have 10 weeks until the end of the transition period, on January 1, I have to make an assessment of the possible outcome and prepare,” he said, in a previously recorded statement broadcast on British television.
Boris Johnson accused the EU of having “seriously refused to negotiate in the past few months” and that the leaders of the 27 had ruled out, at the European Council taking place in Brussels, the possibility of an agreement similar to what they did with Canada “.
“He concludes that we must prepare for, on January 1st, terms that are more similar to those of Australia, based on simple principles of global free trade,” he said.
Australia does not have a comprehensive trade agreement with the EU.
The chief executive said he was willing to discuss “practical issues” such as social security, aviation, nuclear cooperation and left room for a “fundamental change” in the EU’s position to reach an agreement.
In the conclusions adopted during the Brexit summit, published on Thursday, the European Council “calls on Member States, European institutions and all stakeholders, to increase preparedness at all levels and for all types of scenarios , including the ‘no-deal’ [cenário em que a UE e o Reino Unido não chegariam a um acordo comercial pós-‘Brexit’]”.
The document, published on the social network Twitter by the Council spokesman, also mentions that the leaders of the 27 “note with concern that there has not been enough progress on the themes central to the EU for an agreement to be reached”.
Inviting EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to “continue negotiations in the coming weeks”, the heads of state also call on the UK to “make the necessary moves to make an agreement possible”.
“The European Council reaffirms the EU’s determination to maintain as close a partnership as possible with the United Kingdom”, the conclusions state.
British Brexit negotiator David Frost regretted on Thursday that the EU statement did not propose to work “intensely” to reach an agreement on its future relationship with the UK, but European counterpart Michel Barnier said more late that would be available.
“I proposed to the British team that we negotiate intensively, in the little time that we have left, to be able to reach, by the end of October, the agreement that we all want”, said Michel Barnier.
In a press conference after the discussion of the leaders of the 27 – meeting at a summit that lasts until Friday – on ‘Brexit’, Michel Barnier revealed that he will return to dialogue with his British counterpart, David Frost, from Friday and who will spend the next week in London.
“From Monday – and throughout the next week, weekend included, if necessary – I will be in London and the week after that, we will be in Brussels,” said Barnier.
The main points of contention remain the conditions of competition between companies, fisheries and a mechanism to resolve conflicts in the implementation of the agreement that the EU requires to unblock an agreement that allows British access to the European single market without imposing quotas or fees.
The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020. In accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, it is now officially a third country, so it no longer participates in the EU’s decision-making process.
However, by mutual agreement, the EU and the United Kingdom have decided to establish a transitional period, which ends on 31 December 2020.