By Tony Winterburn • 16 December 2020 • 21:52
Brexit Deal Inches Closer in Major Breakthrough as EU weakens on UK ‘lightning tariffs’ Threat.
The EU has weakened on its threat of issuing lightning tariffs if the UK cuts state aid, labour or environmental standards in future. Any hopes though of a Brexit deal have been dashed after Boris Johnson decided to send MPs home for Christmas on Thursday.
Boris Johnson has apparently told MPs to head home for the usual parliamentary recess until they return on January 5, this means an emergency Commons recall will be needed if a deal is done by the end of the year. This move by the PM has been seen as a warning shot to Brussels that he will not be forced into a climbdown in hastily arranged discussions, a Commons source said. One UK official said that both sides were still far apart on a trade deal and not close to clinching an agreement, he said: “We’ve made some progress, but we are still very far apart in key areas.”
Downing Street has said time is now in “short supply” for the EU and UK to agree on a deal and all the necessary legislation should be in place by tomorrow in case of a no-deal Brexit. Although there has been some progress, No 10 is insisting a no-deal is still “the most likely outcome.”
Addressing the European Parliament, von der Leyen said that while she could not say whether there would or would not be a deal, “there is a path to an agreement now” and the next few days will be critical. “We have found a way forward on most issues but two issues remain outstanding: the level playing field and fisheries,” von der Leyen said. “I am glad to report that the issues linked to governance now have largely been resolved. The next few days are going to be decisive.”
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