BORIS Johnson has told the French president Emmanuel Macron the UK will quit the EU on Australia-style terms if a Brexit deal cannot be struck within days.
This would mean leaving without a deal and the UK trading with the EU in roughly the same way as Down Under, with tariffs on goods coming in and out.
The two leaders talked about the Brexit trading deal on the phone morning as Johnson's stuck to his self-imposed deadline of striking a deal before a summit Brussels on Thursday, Downing Street said.
A major sticking point is the rights of EU countries to fish in Britain's waters and subsidies to industries.
A Number 10 spokesperson said: "The Prime Minister… set out the latest state of play in the negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and the EU.
"He confirmed the UK's commitment to exploring every avenue to reach an agreement.
"He underlined that a deal was better for both sides, but also that the UK was prepared to end the transition period on Australia-style terms if an agreement could not be found.
"The Prime Minister emphasised that progress must be made in the coming days to bridge the significant gaps, notably in the areas of fisheries and the level playing field.
"The leaders agreed to keep in touch on the issue."
Under the "Australian-style terms" the UK and the EU would trade with tariffs set by the World Trade Organisation.
Meanwhile Brussels has vowed to call Britain’s bluff over the PM’s threat to collapse trade talks next weekend if a deal is not reached.
The EU is already laying the groundwork for negotiations to continue to the end of the month and beyond.
Britain’s dealmaker David Frost has said an “outline agreement” needs to be ready for a key summit of EU leaders on Thursday and Friday.
No10 has warned it is willing to walk away and start ramping up planning for No Deal.
But last night, UK sources watered down the threat and hinted talks were likely to continue into the following week.
A senior EU diplomat said: “I don’t detect any readiness on the British side to suspend the negotiations. It’s not a deadline.”
Source: Read Full Article