United Kingdom trade deal hard but still possible, source says

United Kingdom trade deal hard but still possible, source says”

Frost is due to tell Prime Minister Johnson after the European Union summit on Thursday and Friday if he thinks it is worth continuing the talks and whether a deal is possible.

"There's politics on both sides of the Channel", said University of Suffolk senior politics lecturer Christopher Huggins.

It added that the talks continued today in the Campo de Gibraltar, adding no further information.

Neither side believes the other has offered enough for talks to reach a conclusion, with the British government deriding the European Union for its hard-line stance on fisheries and the European Union calling for the cede ground in other key areas such as business subsidies.

The UK's cut-off date for post-Brexit trade talks could be extended after progress was made and Germany urged compromise on fishing access, sources have claimed.

"We have a negotiator - Michel Barnier, who is French - who once again this week is in discussions with the British to try to find a deal", he added "But I will say one thing very simply: we will not accept a deal at any price because this is not in the interest of France or Europe".

Johnson was set to discuss the progress of negotiations with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen later on Wednesday.

At the European Council summit on Thursday (15 October), EU leaders will invite Barnier to "intensify negotiations" with the United Kingdom with a view to reaching a deal to enter into force in January 2021, after the post-Brexit transition period expires.

"This can not, however, happen at any price".

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In a speech to the EU Committee of the Regions on Tuesday, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said "we will not leave Ireland alone here", pledging EU unity.

Thursday is that day - but Downing Street appears to have moved back from it as a hard deadline.

Mrs von der Leyen said they were continuing to work on a deal, but that the "conditions must be right" if there was to be an agreement.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "Some progress has been made this week, primarily in technical areas of the negotiations, but there are still differences, with fisheries being the starkest".

Speaking on Tuesday, France's foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian suggested European Union leaders do not see this week as a hard deadline for a breakthrough.

Johnson has repeatedly threatened to walk away from talks if a deal was not in vision by October 15.

Trade talks are likely to continue until the end of the month, rather than stopping on October 15, insiders believe.

The transition period, which kept the United Kingdom aligned to the EU's single market and customs union rules to allow trade to flow smoothly after Brexit, is due to expire at the end of the year.

If no deal is reached, Britain's global business arrangements will revert to bare-bones World Trade Organisation rules, severely impacting major sectors such as the auto, aviation and finance industries.

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