BORIS JOHNSON has vowed he will not extend the UK’s transition period out of the EU further than the three-month deadline. But with the UK threatening to walk away as trade talks hit stalemate, will Boris secure a trade deal with the EU before December 31? Vote in Express.co.uk’s poll.
Despite leaving the EU on January, the UK has so far failed to reach an agreement with the bloc over the future relationship between the two. Britain’s top Brexit negotiator David Frost issued a fresh warning to the EU on Sunday the country is not scared of a no deal exit. He added the “UK will not blink first in Brexit trade negotiations”.
Lord Frost said: “We came in after a government and negotiating team that had blinked and had its bluff called at critical moments and the EU had learned not to take our word seriously.
“So a lot of what we are trying to do this year is to get them to realise that we mean what we say and they should take our position seriously.”
Talks will resume in London on Tuesday.
They have stalled recently over Britain’s demands to have full autonomy over state aid, as well as standing firm on fishing.
Britain blasted the the EU for failing to fully accept that it is now an independent country.
Lord Frost said: “We are not going to be a client state.
“We are not going to compromise on the fundamentals of having control over our own laws.
“We are not going to accept level playing field provisions that lock us in to the way the EU do things.
“That’s what being an independent country is about, that’s what the British people voted for and that’s what will happen at the end of the year, come what may.”
He added a lot of preparation had been done for a possible exit without a trade deal.
Lord Frost said: “I don’t think that we are scared of this at all.
“If we can reach an agreement that regulates trade like Canada’s, great.
“If we can’t, it will be an Australian-like trading agreement and we are fully ready for that.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said this morning the UK was being asked to be treated fairly in the final stages of trade negotiations.
He told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “I think it is there for the taking.
“This week the negotiations are really important and all the UK is asking for is to be treated like any other country in free trade negotiations.
“No other country would accept being bound by or controlled by the EU’s rules or indeed in their relations with any other country, and indeed the EU wouldn’t accept it in relation to us –
“I think that’s just a straightforward point of principle.”
However, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian said blamed the stalemate on Britain’s attitude.
He told France Inter radio on Sunday: “The British people do not seem to understand that if one wants to negotiate a good deal, one must talk about all issues.
“It’s not going well, with only two months left, it is urgent, the countdown has started.
“We prefer to reach a deal but we need to discuss the whole package, including fisheries, to avoid a no-deal.”