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Brexit: PM ‘disenchanted’ with progress forward of EU summit

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Boris Johnson will resolve on the “next steps” for post-Brexit commerce talks after an EU summit later this week, Downing Street has mentioned.

No 10 mentioned the PM expressed “disappointment” at latest progress in a name with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday.

Mr Johnson has beforehand set Thursday’s assembly of EU leaders because the deadline for a deal.

Mrs von der Leyen mentioned the EU needed a deal, “but not at any price”.

Both sides are calling on the opposite to compromise on key points, together with fishing and limits on authorities subsidies to companies.

They are locked in talks over putting an settlement to manipulate their buying and selling relationship as soon as the UK’s post-Brexit transition interval ends in December.

A No 10 spokesperson mentioned Mr Johnson “noted the desirability of a deal” throughout his pre-summit name with Mrs von der Leyen.

However, the PM additionally “expressed his disappointment that more progress had not been made over the past two weeks,” they added.

“The prime minister said that he looked forward to hearing the outcome of the European Council and would reflect before setting out the UK’s next steps.”

Earlier, a No 10 spokesman mentioned fishing rights remained the “starkest” level of distinction forward of Thursday’s two-day EU leaders’ summit.

The authorities’s chief Brexit negotiator Lord David Frost was seen going into Downing Street on Thursday morning.

Backbench Conservative Peter Bone advised MPs Lord Frost was briefing the prime minister “on whether to continue the negotiations or whether to call it a day and prepare for a no-trade deal Brexit”.

‘Lot of labor’

Speaking after her name with the prime minister, Mrs von der Leyen mentioned: “The EU is working on a deal, but not at any price.”

She added that “conditions must be right” on fishing, post-Brexit competitors guidelines and the way a deal is enforced for the EU to signal an settlement.

She added: “Still a lot of work ahead of us.”

European Council President Charles Michel additionally joined the decision with Mrs von der Leyen and the Mr Johnson on Wednesday night.

In a letter to EU leaders forward of Thursday’s assembly, Mr Michel mentioned reaching a deal earlier than December was “in the interests of both sides”.

He added that in addition to fishing rights, “key issues” for a deal included post-Brexit guidelines on competitors and the way a deal could be enforced.

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Analysis box by Katya Adler, Europe editor

EU leaders will not be but all on the identical web page in the case of how a lot they need to surrender or give in to get a deal.

Brussels retains calling on the UK to make concessions however a profitable end result would require compromises on each side.

Will France’s Emmanuel Macron relinquish his hard-line place about protecting present fishing quotas in UK waters? He’ll need to, to get a UK deal.

Will Germany’s Angela Merkel give method on some calls for on competitors laws (aka the extent taking part in subject) but nonetheless grant the UK zero tariff, zero quota entry to the one market?

EU leaders should agree all this amongst themselves and it will not be easy.

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Why does 15 October matter?

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Over the summer time, each the UK and EU appeared to agree the tip of October was the ultimate date to get a deal accomplished – permitting sufficient time for it to be ratified earlier than 31 December.

But come 7 September, Boris Johnson determined to shorten the deadline.

He mentioned if a deal wasn’t reached by 15 October, “then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on”.

Thursday is that day – however Downing Street seems to have moved again from it as a tough deadline.

Formal negotiations ended firstly of October, however Mr Johnson and Mrs von der Leyen pledged to “intensify talks” over the approaching weeks.

Pressed on whether or not the UK would stroll away on 15 October, the federal government’s chief negotiator Lord Frost mentioned it was his job to “advise the prime minister” on whether or not a deal was on the playing cards by then.

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Speaking on Tuesday, France’s overseas minister Jean-Yves Le Drian recommended EU leaders don’t see this week as a tough deadline for a breakthrough.

“The date of 15 October, it’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson who announced that, it is not the position of the European Council,” he advised French MPs.

He added that “everything should be played out” between October 15 and “mid-November”.

He warned that the prospect of no deal was “unfortunately very likely,” however the EU was “prepared for all eventualities”.

Transition deadline looms

By remaining within the bloc’s single market and customs union, the UK has continued to observe EU buying and selling guidelines throughout its post-Brexit transition interval.

This 11-month interval is because of finish in December, and the UK has dominated out looking for an extension.

Formal talks started in March and continued all through the pandemic, initially by way of video hyperlink earlier than in-person discussions resumed over the summer time.

If a deal shouldn’t be accomplished, the UK will commerce with the EU in accordance with the default guidelines set by the World Trade Organization.

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