Johnson outlines problems in Brexit trade talks, says UK position is unchanged

·2-min read

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that there are problems in the Brexit trade talks and that the position remains unchanged. Speaking to reporters, Johnson said that “it is vital that everybody understands that the UK has got to be able to control its own laws completely and also that we’ve got to be able to control our own fisheries.”

He added that the WTO (World Trade Organisation) terms would be more than satisfactory for the UK. “We can certainly cope with any difficulties that are thrown our way. Not that we don't want a deal but the WTO terms would be entirely satisfactory,” he said.

With only 10 days before the United Kingdom leaves the EU single market, talks between the EU and British negotiators continue to remain blocked over two issues -- the fair-trade rules and fishing.

Without a deal, Britain’s links to the European Union end at midnight on December 31 with the introduction of a tariff barrier. And in a no-deal scenario, Britain will have to enact WTO terms in its trade with the EU imposing UK global tariff on EU imports while the EU would impose its common external tariff on UK imports.

A Sunday deadline set by the European Parliament had expired without an agreement being found, leaving no time for MEPs to ratify an eventual deal before January 1.

“Political games from Westminster have wasted too much time,” said German MEP Manfred Weber, who leads the conservative group in parliament, warning that members would take their time and not “rubber stamp” a text.

But Weber also said parliament “will remain constructive partners” and that “alternative procedures are possible” -- though what they were was not yet agreed.

Whatever the case, the EU has finalised interim plans to manage road and air transport for six months and fishing for a year in the event of a no deal -- but these would also require an agreement from the UK to reciprocate.

(News Wires)