UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday to discuss “significant gaps” that remain in the deal between the UK and the EU.
According to an official statement from Johnson’s office, “the prime minister emphasized that progress must be made in the coming days to bridge the significant gaps, in particular in the areas of fisheries and the level playing field.”
Both the EU and the UK have hoped that an economic post-Brexit deal be reached by the end of October. But the UK said it was also willing to move forward without a proper plan in place. Germany has opposed a no-deal Brexit.
‘Prepared to end’
“While achieving a deal in the coming days would be beneficial for both sides, the UK was also prepared to end the transition period on Australia-style terms,” said the statement, even though there are no trade deals between Australia and the EU.
The UK said it would walk away without a deal if no deal was finalized by the EU summit in a few days time. In addition to the debate surrounding fisheries, there are still differences in opinion to the UK’s access to the EU single market. Johnson told French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday that he was exploring all avenues for a trade deal with the EU.
The UK politically withdrew from the European bloc earlier this year, but it will remain in the economic bloc until December 31.
kbd/shs (dpa, Reuters)