By Mark T Connor • 30 June 2020 • 11:58
Boris Johnson and Angela Merkel.
The UK is currently in the middle of trade talks with the European Union, but limited progress has been made.
No-deal preparations have been ramped up and the British government is calling for the EU to treat the UK like any other sovereign nation they have done trade deals with in the past.
The EU is demanding that there is a level playing field and that the UK does not have a competitive trade/business advantage after Brexit.
According to reports, Mrs Merkel claimed that the UK will have to “live with the consequences” of its Brexit decisions: “With Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the British Government wants to define for itself what relationship it will have with us after the country leaves,”
“It will then have to live with the consequences, of course, that is to say with a less closely interconnected economy.
“If Britain does not want to have rules on the environment and the labour market or social standards that compare with those of the EU, our relations will be less close.”
Hours after Merkel’s comments, a Downing St spokesman reiterated that the UK would be more than willing to quit trade talks and leave the transition period on Australian terms.
This was made clear to Polish Prime Minister Mr Morawiecki by Mr Johnson. A Downing St spokesman said: “On the UK’s future relationship with the EU, the Prime Minister welcomed the agreement on both sides to an intensified process of negotiations in July.
“He (Boris) said the UK would negotiate constructively but equally would be ready to leave the transition period on Australia terms if agreement could not be reached.”
So far, the UK and EU have failed to meet in person to discuss a future trade deal, but instead used video conferencing software to negotiate.
Both sides have agreed that an accelerated timetable and further intensity is needed for a deal to be reached by the end of the year. Earlier this month, Michael Gove formally confirmed to the European Union that the UK would not be requesting an extension to the transition period which is due to expire at the end of the year.
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