Brexit: Trade talks ‘unlikely’ to go beyond Sunday, says Dominic Raab

Publishedduration22 minutes ago

media captionUrsula von der Leyen: “Our negotiators are still working and we will take a decision on Sunday”

UK-EU talks to reach a post-Brexit trade deal are “unlikely” to continue after Sunday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said.

His comments come after a meeting between Boris Johnson and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen aimed at breaking the Brexit trade deadlock.

Mrs von der Leyen said she had a “good conversation but it is difficult”.

The EU has set out the measures it would take in the event of a no-deal scenario with the UK.

The plans aim to ensure the UK and EU air and road connections still run after the UK stops following EU trading rules on 31 December, as well as allowing the possibility of fishing access to each other’s waters for up to a year.

Talks between the UK’s chief negotiator Lord Frost and the EU’s Michel Barnier are due to resume in Brussels.

The main obstacles continue to be access to fishing waters, rules about subsidising businesses and how any new deal would be policed.

Brexit – The basics

  • Brexit happened but rules didn’t change at once: The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020, but leaders needed time to negotiate a deal for life afterwards – they got 11 months.
  • Talks are happening: The UK and the EU have until 31 December 2020 to agree a trade deal as well as other things, such as fishing rights.
  • If there is no deal: Border checks and taxes will be introduced for goods travelling between the UK and the EU. But deal or no deal, we will still see changes.

Speaking in the House of Commons, minister Penny Mordaunt insisted that the UK would “leave no stone unturned” and will “carry on negotiating until there is no hope”.

In response Labour’s Rachel Reeves said businesses “desperately trying to plan need to know what on earth is going on”.

She urged the government to “do the responsible thing… and bring back the deal.”


Arriving at an EU summit in Brussels, Mrs von der Leyen said “We are willing to grant access to the single market to our British friends – the largest single market in the world – but the conditions have to be fair and they have to be fair for our workers and our companies.”

“This fine balance of fairness has not been achieved so far,” she said adding that negotiators were still working and that a decision would be taken on Sunday.

The Irish PM, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, said that no-one understated the challenges that lie ahead.

“But it’s important for the citizens of Europe that we do everything we can to get an agreement here,” he said.

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