Boris Johnson maintains Brexit deal ‘is there to be done’
A post-Brexit trade deal is still “there to be done” despite the final deadline looming next month, according to Boris Johnson.
Johnson, who spoke to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen yesterday, said “the broad outlines are pretty clear” and that the EU chief “totally agrees with me”.
A statement from Downing Street yesterday said that “significant differences” remained between the two sides including “the so-called level playing field and fish”.
Negotiators will meet tomorrow and “redouble” efforts to close a deal before the UK leaves the EU single market and customs union on 31 December.
Last month the deadline for a deal was the end of October, however like many others it also slipped as 31 December gets nearer.
State subsidy regulations, which are a part of the level playing field talks, has been one of the largest barriers to a deal.
The EU wants the UK to mirror its regulatory regime for business subsidies, and other things like labour and environmental laws, in return for zero tariff trade.
Brussels also started negotiations by demanding EU countries retain the same fishing rights to UK waters as they currently have, which UK negotiator David Frost has said is untenable.
Speaking today, Johnson said: “I’ve always been a great enthusiast for a trade deal with our European friends and partners, I think it is there to be done.
“The broad outlines are pretty clear, we just need to get on and do it if we can. I’ve said that to Ursula von der Leyen just yesterday and she totally agrees with me.”
The Prime Minister also talked up the chances of a UK-US trade deal under a Joe Biden administration.
Many pundits have suggested that transatlantic trade deals will not be a priority for Biden.
On the trade deal with the US, I am a keen student of the United States trade policy and they’re tough negotiators, and I’ve never believed this was going to be something that was going to be a complete pushover under any US administration,” Johnson said.
“I think there is a good chance we’ll do something – Liz Truss and her team’s made a huge amount of progress – and we’ll get on.”