BREXIT ON BRINK: Boris ends urgent call to EU with ‘big differences’-No deal ‘very likely’

Brexit: Expert says EU 'compensating' affected industries

Boris Johnson and Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen have warned that “big differences” remain between the two sides with only days to wrap up the talks. The Prime Minister spoke with his EU counterpart this evening to take stock of the talks before an apparent deadline of Sunday set by the European Parliament earlier today. In a statement, Mrs von der Leyen said: “This evening I took stock with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the on-going negotiations for a comprehensive partnership agreement between the European Union and United Kingdom.

“We welcomed substantial progress on many issues. However, big differences remain to be bridged, in particular on fisheries. Bridging them will be very challenging.

“Negotiations will continue tomorrow.”

Mr Johnson warned the Commission President that the fishing offer on the table remains unacceptable to a sovereign state.

He insisted Brussels’ position is “not reasonable” and could cause Britain’s fishing industry damage. 

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His spokesman said: “The Prime Minister spoke to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen this evening about the state of play in the UK-EU negotiations.

 “The Prime Minister underlined that the negotiations were now in a serious situation. Time was very short and it now looked very likely that agreement would not be reached unless the EU position changed substantially.

 “He said that we were making every effort to accommodate reasonable EU requests on the level playing field, but even though the gap had narrowed some fundamental areas remained difficult.

 

“On fisheries he stressed that the UK could not accept a situation where it was the only sovereign country in the world not to be able to control access to its own waters for an extended period and to be faced with fisheries quotas which hugely disadvantaged its own industry.  The EU’s position in this area was simply not reasonable and if there was to be an agreement it needed to shift significantly.

 “The Prime Minister repeated that little time was left. He said that, if no agreement could be reached, the UK and the EU would part as friends, with the UK trading with the EU on Australian-style terms.

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