The EU was not willing to give Britain a trade agreement similar to Canada’s. Now Boris Johnson casts doubt on whether there will be any agreement at all.
– Unless something fundamental changes, we go for a solution similar to the one Australia has. We should do that with great confidence, says Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, in a TV interview on Friday afternoon.
The United Kingdom had tried to reach a trade agreement with the EU similar to the one Canada has. They did not get it.
“It seems strange that after 45 years, they can offer Canada better terms than us,” says Johnson.
The Australian solution is also referred to as “hard Brexit”, and means that the trading partners are without any agreement for trade. Canada, on the other hand, has had a trade agreement with the EU since 2017.
The United Kingdom and the EU negotiators did not agree on the deadline they had set for 15 October. Now it looks like the negotiations have stalled.
– The summit seemed to exclude an agreement similar to the one Canada has. Then we must be ready to stand without any agreement on January 1, Johnson says.
Both say they are willing
– We do not leave the negotiating table. We say come here, come to us, if something fundamental changes in the EU’s approach, we are open to negotiating, says Johnson.
The EU has expressed the same willingness to negotiate, without the two parties having agreed on an agreement so far.
– We are here and we are available until the last possible day, said EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier at a press conference yesterday, after the deadline for negotiations had expired.
The two parties will, according to Bloomberg, meet again later this afternoon.
The President of the European Commission also tweets that the negotiations will continue
– Our negotiating team is going to London next week, she says on Twitter.
The transition period between the UK and the EU lasts until the end of the year. During that period, there have been no major changes since the United Kingdom was still a member.
Without a trade agreement, the EU and the UK will automatically switch to trade rules determined through the WTO. This can quickly mean increased tariffs and more difficult trade between the two.
According to an analysis by Bloomberg Economics, the UK will lose around NOK 3.6 trillion on being left without an agreement with the EU. This corresponds to around 1.5 per cent of GDP.
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