Brexit ‘trade talks are over’: UK sees no point in more negotiations unless EU changes its stance

The UK sees no point in continuing trade talks with the EU unless it “fundamentally changes” its position, a spokesman for Britain’s PM Boris Johnson has said, blaming the bloc for failed negotiations.

The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier should only come to London for a meeting scheduled next week if he was willing to discuss details on travel and cargo haulage, the spokesman said on Friday.

“There is no point in trade talks if the EU doesn’t change its position. The EU effectively ended the trade talks yesterday. Only if the EU fundamentally changes its position, will it be worth talking,” he said.

The trade talks are over: the EU have effectively ended them by saying that they do not want to change their negotiating position.

Earlier in the day, Johnson unequivocally said the UK was ready for a no-deal Brexit and would rather stick to the “Australia solution” if the EU would not change its stance.

“It’s becoming clear the EU don’t want to do the type of Canada deal that we originally asked for,” he said.

The “Australia solution” means the UK will not have any special agreement with the European Union, but rather would do business according to the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules starting from January, when the Brexit transition period ends. A no-deal divorce with the EU and trade on WTO rules, with all the applicable tariffs, is likely to trigger a sharp increase in prices across the UK.

London’s rhetoric met with angry reaction in the EU, with President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, suggesting the bloc would rather walk away from the negotiations as well but would not give in to Britain’s pressure.

“We are ready for a deal, but not at any price,” France’s President Emmanuel Macron said, insisting that that Britain needed a deal more than the EU.

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