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EU PANIC: Brussels launches emergency no deal planning after Boris Johnson’s speech

EUROPEAN UNION officials have restarted emergency no deal planning amid fears Boris Johnson will walk away from trade negotiations.

PUBLISHED: 16:19, Mon, Feb 3, 2020 | UPDATED: 16:37, Mon, Feb 3, 2020

Pound plummets against euro after Barnier’s trade deal demands 


Eurocrats have been ordered to get to work “straight away” on new plans to protect European businesses and citizens if they fail to strike a deal with Britain. A top EU official said: “Measures to prepare for no deal, we’ve said we’ll carry on straight away. “We’ve never stopped saying we should stop preparing notices.

“Even if we have a deal, Michel Barnier has said there will be a change in our relationship… that preparation is ongoing.”

Prime Minister Mr Johnson has warned he is prepared to halt negotiations on any deal that does not meet his redlines.

He is understood to be furious with Brussels, which he believes has pivoted from wanting to forge a deep trading relationship to insisting on regulatory alignment.



Addressing international business leaders and diplomats, Mr Johnson said there should be “no alignment, no jurisdiction of the European courts and no concessions”.

Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel

Ursula von der Leyen’s EU begins emergency no deal planning (Image: GETTY)

Ursula von der Leyen

Eurocrats have been ordered to begin emergency work amid threats from Boris Johnson (Image: GETTY)

The Prime Minister added: “There is no need for a free trade agreement to involve accepting EU rules on competition policy, subsidies, social protection, the environment, or anything similar – any more than the EU should be obliged to accept UK rules.

“The UK will maintain the highest standards in these areas – better, in many respects, than those of the EU – without the compulsion of a treaty, and it is vital to stress this now.”

But today Michel Barnier unveiled a series of hardline demands that are likely to crash negotiations with London.

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has warned he will walk away from negotiations (Image: GETTY)

The EU’s chief negotiator said Britain would have to remain dynamically aligned with the bloc’s state and competition rules as part of any deal.

It is also understood he will seek “non-regression” clauses for environmental, climate and workers’ rights standards.

He said: “We are ready to offer all this, even though we know that there will be strong competition between the UK and the EU in the future.

“We must now agree on specific and effective guarantees to ensure a level playing field over the long-term.

DON’T MISS: Barnier demands access to UK waters if Boris wants an EU trade deal

Michel Barnier

Michel Barnier’s hardline demands will be rejected by the Prime Minister (Image: EbS)

“That means mechanisms to uphold the high standards we have on social, environmental, climate, tax, and state aid matters today and in their future developments.”

Mr Barnier insisted Brussels was “not asking for alignment” with EU rules because it was a “red rag to the UK”.

But his draft mandate says any free-trade deal “must ensure the application” of the bloc’s state aid laws in Britain, including an oversight role for the ECJ.


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Ursula von der Leyen, the EU Commission’s president, said: “In any negotiations, both sides will do what is best for them. The European Union will protect of course the interests of our citizens and of the European companies.

“The Commission will continue to work hand-in-hand with the European Parliament and the Council, and we will stay successfully united, as we have done over the last three and a half years.

“We know time is short and the road is long, so we kick off the negotiations today.”

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