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Boris Johnson: Time to clinch EU post-Brexit trade deal in ‘short supply’

Monday, 12 October 2020 4:51 PM  [ Last Update: Monday, 12 October 2020 4:55 PM 

Boris Johnson has made negotiations with the EU harder by imposing an arbitrary deadline of October 15 whereas the formal deadline for reaching an agreement is December 31

As Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s self-imposed deadline of October 15 fast approaches, there is no sign yet of a major breakthrough in torturous post-Brexit trade deals with the European Union (EU).

In the latest development, a Downing Street spokesperson has said that the PM has been “clear” with the EU that the time left to secure a trade deal is in “short supply”.

The spokesman made it clear that Johnson is determined to stick to his deadline which is on Thursday (October 15).

The latest development – and the insistence on the October 15 deadline – comes on the heels of a phone call between the PM and European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen.

During the call Johnson called for an “intensification of discussions”, which initially raised hopes of a breakthrough, but those hopes have been dashed by today’s development.

However, despite the lack of progress, a UK negotiating team is reportedly currently in Brussels trying to work through the disagreements.

Based on multiple reports, there are currently two major disagreements between the EU and UK negotiators.

First, the EU wants the UK to follow its rules on state aid to businesses but the UK disagrees on the grounds that it diminishes independence and sovereignty.

Second, British negotiators are reportedly demanding “full access” to EU markets to sell fish, but in return the EU seeks full access to UK waters for its fishing fleet, which the UK is reluctant to provide.

France is reportedly threatening to force a “no-deal” Brexit unless the UK agrees to give the EU full access to its territorial waters for fishing purposes.  

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