Blog: Brexit LIVE: Boris Johnson ready to walk from EU deal after fiery phone call with Macron – Daily Express

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The Prime Minister has warned Mr Macron the UK is prepared to leave the EU without a comprehensive free-trade deal and on Australian-style terms if a breakthrough could not be found. During the exchange, Mr Johnson insisted his preference would be to leave with an agreement but emphasised progress needed to be made in problem areas, such a fishing and  the so-called level playing field, ahead of a crucial EU summit next week. 

A number 10 spokesman said: “The Prime Minister set out the latest state of play in negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

“He confirmed the UK’s commitment to exploring every avenue to reach an agreement.

“He underlined that a deal was better for both sides, but also that the UK was prepared to end the transition period on Australian-style terms if an agreement could not be found.

“The Prime Minister emphasised that progress must be made in the coming days to bridge the significant gaps, notably in the areas of fisheries and the level playing field, through the process of intensive talks between Chief Negotiators agreed with the President of the European Commission.

Brexit Live: Frost and Barnier to pursue mini-agreements

Brexit Live: Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron held talks this morning (Image: GETTY)

“The leaders agreed to keep in touch on the issue.”

It has also emerged David Frost and Michel Barnier have agreed to pursue a series of mini-deals if the two sides fail to reach an overarching agreement next week.

After the two sides concluded talks yesterday, it was agreed they would pursue with separate negotiations on areas such as aviation and road transport.

As talks head into the final week of formal negotiations, EU officials are also concerned over the issue of fisheries.

With Lord Frost indicating concessions could be made on subsidy controls and the level playing field, the EU’s negotiating team fears fisheries may dominate the final round of talks due to the demands set by countries such as France. 

FOLLOW BELOW FOR THE LATEST UPDATES: 

4.45pm update: Labour shamed for bonkers Brexit demands which would ‘rule out trade deal with the EU’

Labour has been shamed for its recent Brexit food standards demands with a prominent Brexiteer pointing out their “absurd” request would actually “rule out a trade deal with the EU”.

Former Tory MEP Daniel Hannan said the Labour’s call for the UK to ban food imports made to lower standards after Brexit was “deranged. 

Mr Hannan tweeted: “What Labour is suggesting is that we go beyond existing EU standards.

“The absurdity of these proposals is that they wouldn’t just rule out a trade deal with the US; they would rule out a trade deal with the EU, several of whose members have different animal welfare regulations.

“What Labour is asking for here is a blanket ban on food imports from much of the world, including many countries we buy from now as EU members.

“I get that anti-Americanism plays to some on the Left, but taking it to this level is deranged.”

brexit news

Brexit news: David Frost and Michel Barnier will resume talks next week (Image: GETTY)

3.20pm update: Number 10 confirm Boris and Macron held Brexit talks this morning

A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister set out the latest state of play in negotiations on the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

“He confirmed the UK’s commitment to exploring every avenue to reach an agreement.

“He underlined that a deal was better for both sides, but also that the UK was prepared to end the transition period on Australian-style terms if an agreement could not be found.

“The Prime Minister emphasised that progress must be made in the coming days to bridge the significant gaps, notably in the areas of fisheries and the level playing field, through the process of intensive talks between Chief Negotiators agreed with the President of the European Commission.

“The leaders agreed to keep in touch on the issue.”

2.22pm update: Lord Frost rattles Barnier with tactic from EU’s playbook 

Brexiteers Syed Kamall claimed Lord David Frost has stunned the EU with his determination to play “hardball” in trade talks.

Academic and Research Director for think tank IEA, Syed Kamall, has argued the UK’s chief Brexit negotiator Lord David Frost has put the UK in a strong position in the trade talks with the EU.

During an interview with Express.co.uk, Mr Kamall said Lord Frost had learnt from how the EU behaved in trade negotiations. He insisted Lord Frost has played hardball with the EU upfront with the goal of compromising at the end if necessary.

Mr Kamall said: “With trade talks eventually you have to compromise on both sides.

“I think what was different about the David Frost approach to negotiations was that he learnt from what the EU did.

“He learnt to play hardball upfront and then compromise at the end and not compromise too early.”

1.36pm update: Should the UK and EU agree a trade deal that sidelines Macron? – Express poll

The UK and EU’s Brexit negotiators are struggling to reach an agreement on future fishing arrangements amid Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s trade deal deadline on Thursday looming alarmingly close.

But should the UK and EU agree a trade deal that sidelines French President Emmanuel Macron as France grows concerned about its own access to UK waters in the event of a no deal Brexit? 

12.24pm update: Daniel Hannan continues attack on Labour 

After Labour released a video vowing to stand up for British farmers, the former Tory MEP hit out at their plans. 

He said: “Food standards are not in question. What Labour is proposing is something no country in the world has ever done, namely to require identical production standards.

“This wouldn’t just rule out a US deal; it would rule out an EU one. It would also make us all a lot worse off.”

Brexit news: Michel Barnier

Brexit news: Michel Barnier (Image: PA)

11.36pm update: Brexit talks to “drag into next month” 

Brexit talks are set to prolong into next month as officials admit next week’s deadline may now be missed. 

Sources in Brussels said yesterday that the wrangling is likely to drag on into November after informal discussions this week failed to make a breakthrough.

“One diplomat said: “It’s not a matter of deadlines. First of all it was July, then August, and now mid-October.

“I don’t expect any readiness on the British side to suspend the negotiations. This is going to continue.”

10.41pm update: Political expert exposes EU’s “absurd” Brexit stance to keep fishing rights to UK waters

Mujtaba Rahman of the Eurasia Group tweeted: “The UK has got a lot wrong in these negotiations, but the EU position on fish is absurd.

“Essentially it’s, ‘Everything changes because of Brexit, but on fish, it stays the same'”.

EU fisheries

EU fisheries (Image: Express)

9.55am update: Fishing communities beg PM be brave in Brexit ultimatum

UK fishing communities have issued a plea to Boris Johnson to protect Britain’s waters.

Speaking to Brexit Unlocked, Paul Lines, Chairman of Lowestoft Fishing Alliance, warned EU fishing multi-annual agreements have decimated UK businesses as he urged the Prime Minister to get his act together and strike the best  deal for British fishing communities.

He added: “Until our politicians actually be brave a set and realise that jobs are paramount to everything, with this horrible pandemic we’ve now gone through there’s nothing more apparent than you’ve got to create jobs and produce food.”

Brexit negotiations

Brexit negotiations (Image: Express)

8.37am update:  Labour shamed for Brexit demands

Former Tory MEP for the south-east of England, Daniel Hannan, has attacked Labour for its Brexit demands.

Commenting on the the potential for food products to enter the UK under lower hygiene standards, Mr Hannan claimed Labour’s demands are “absurd”. 

He said: “What Labour is suggesting is that we go beyond existing EU standards.

“The absurdity of these proposals is that they wouldn’t just rule out a trade deal with the US; they would rule out a trade deal with the EU, several of whose members have different animal welfare regulations.”

The party has called for the UK to band the import of all food products which do not match UK standards.

8.04am update: Boris ready to call Macron’s bluff over no deal Brexit threat

Boris Johnson is ready to call the bluff of Emmanuel Macron according to a political expert, who claimed the French President will not scupper a wider post-Brexit trade deal because of fishing demands.

Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of the Bow Group independent think-tank, believes Mr Macron will eventually back down on his demands if fishing is the only obstacle to a free-trade deal.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “Boris knows how important the preservation of our fishing waters are to the Brexit movement, but Macron and the EU also face pressure from Spanish and European fishermen.

“A compromise is possible and Macron is unlikely to push for no deal just over fishery policy assuming all other elements of a deal are agreed.”

Brexit news: Emmanuel Macron

Brexit news: Emmanuel Macron (Image: PA)

7.21am update: Frost and Barnier to pursue mini-agreement if deal fails 

Lord David Frost and Michel Barnier will pursue a series of mini-agreements if a wide deal cannot be reached next week. 

The EU is fearful states such as France, may continue their demands over fisheries and therefore stop a deal from being agreed next week.

Lord Frost and Mr Barnier held constructive talks last week, with the EU hopeful of a breakthrough on state aid. 

Mr Barnier has faced pressure to step up no deal planning but the negotiator is resisting doing so in order to not give anything away. 

One source told The Times: “We shouldn’t jump the gun, with the danger of giving too much away.”

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