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The UK’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost has travelled to Brussels to meet EU counterpart Michel Barnier as talks resume on a post-Brexit trade deal. On Sunday, Lord Frost warned that while every effort is being made to strike a deal with Brussels, a no-deal outcome remains a strong possibility unless the bloc backs down from its firm stance in a number of areas. The deadline to the end of the transition period is approaching, meaning pressure is building on both sides to make concessions in order to get a deal over the line.
Brexiteers have waited patiently for over four long years now. We haven’t come this far to accept some watered-down version of Brexit
But now former Brexit Party MEP Rupert Lowe has issued a huge warning to the Prime Minister, warning him against accepting some watered-down version of Brexit.
He also warned Mr Johnson that without the support of Brexiteers, he “would be a nobody”, warning that backing is “not unconditional”.
Mr Lowe tweeted: “Brexiteers have waited patiently for over four long years now.
“We haven’t come this far to accept some watered-down version of Brexit.
“Without Brexiteer support, Boris would be a nobody.
“He shouldn’t forget who put him where he is. That support is not unconditional.”
Both sides are hoping to agree a deal over the coming days in order to provide enough time for it to be ratified by the European Parliament before the transition period ends on December 31.
But despite some progress being made between the two negotiating teams over recent days, significant gaps still remain, predominantly over fishing, state aid and the EU’s so-called level playing field.
This warning from Mr Lowe comes after Lord Frost provided an update as he arrived in Brussels for a fresh round of talks with Mr Barnier.
The UK’s chief negotiator said there has been “some progress in a positive direction in recent days” and whole both teams “now largely have common draft treaty texts, though significant elements are of course not yet agreed”.
But he warned while British negotiators will attempt to build on this progress to get a deal with the EU, “we may not succeed”.
Lord Frost tweeted: “Arriving once again in Brussels shortly for another round of negotiations with EU and Michel Barnier this afternoon. I and our British team have been in talks almost every day since 22 October.
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“We are working to get a deal, but the only one that’s possible is one that is compatible with our sovereignty and takes back control of our laws, our trade, and our waters.
“That has been our consistent position from the start and I will not be changing it.
“There has been some progress in a positive direction in recent days. We also now largely have common draft treaty texts, though significant elements are of course not yet agreed.
“We will work to build on these and get an overall agreement if we can.
“But we may not succeed. Either way, as the Prime Minister Boris Johnson made clear on 16 October, people and businesses must prepare for the change that is coming on 31 December, most of which happens whether there is a deal or not.”
Environment Secretary George Eustice had earlier warned next week is “a week when things need to move” if the UK and EU are to agree a trade deal.
He said: “Both sides recognise that time is very, very short. It’s not long ago we were saying we needed to get some kind of conclusion by the middle of October,” he said.
“People have persevered with these talks. There does come a point frankly where businesses need to know what they are preparing for.
“You can always squeeze out extra time if you need to, if you’re nearly there.
“But, I agree with Simon Coveney, perhaps we can agree on this much… this needs to be a week when things move, when we break through some of these difficult issues and get resolution and at least have some sort of headlines – if you like – of an agreement.
“Otherwise, it gets quite difficult and we do start to run out of time to implement it.”
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