Boris Johnson 'expresses his disappointment' at Brexit talks progress during call with EU leaders

Ellena Cruse
·2-min read
Getty Images
Getty Images

Boris Johnson has “expressed his disappointment” about the progress of Brexit trade deal negotiations in a call with EU leaders, Downing Street said.

Speaking with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel, the Prime Minister said he will reflect on the outcome of this week’s EU’s summit before setting out the UK’s next steps.

Shortly after the call on Wednesday evening, Ms von der Leyen tweeted that there was “still a lot of work ahead of us” to reach a deal.

It comes after Mr Johnson previously suggested he would walk away from the negotiating table if there was no agreement on a trade deal by the time of the two-day summit meeting in Brussels starting on Thursday.

Ms von der Leyen said: "Took stock of negotiations with Britain in a call with Boris Johnson, together with Charles Michel.

"The EU is working on a deal, but not at any price.

"Conditions must be right, on fisheries, level-playing field and governance.

"Still a lot of work ahead of us."

Following the call, a Number 10 spokesman said the Prime Minister had hoped more progress would have been made.

“The Prime Minister noted the desirability of a deal, but expressed his disappointment that more progress had not been made over the past two weeks," he said.

“The Prime Minister said that he looked forward to hearing the outcome of the European Council and would reflect before setting out the UK’s next steps in the light of his statement of September 7.”

Earlier in the day, Number 10 progress during the talks had been made "primarily in technical areas of the negotiations".

They added there was still "difference to sort out, with "fisheries being the starkest".

He said: “We need to get the substance settled and not having a common text to work from has made progress doubly difficult.

“The Prime Minister’s September 7 statement was very clear about the significance of October 15.

“He will need to take a decision on next steps following the European Council in the light of his conversation with President von der Leyen, and on advice from his negotiating team.

“I cannot prejudge what that decision will be.”

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