UK PM Boris Johnson on December 11 said that a no-deal Brexit would be “wonderful” for Britain as the European Union agreed it was now the most likely outcome. With just a day left for a breakthrough, relations between the two sides still appear to be deteriorating. On a visit to the northeast, Johnson said that while ending the transition period without a deal was not what he had “set out to achieve,” but he added that it would allow Britain to “do exactly what we want from January”.
The UK Prime Minister slammed the European Union for its negotiating stance and said that he could not accept its demand on competition rules and fishing. He ignored official forecast that a no-deal Brexit will swipe £40 billion from the UK economy. Further, he described the outcome as now “very, very likely” and said that it was a solution that he thinks would be “wonderful” for the UK.
Britain is set to leave the EU single market at the end of the year with or without a trade agreement. Failure to reach a free trade agreement with the EU means bilateral trade will depend on World Trade Organization (WTO) rules in 2021. Now, as the transition period ends in three weeks, there are serious concerns that the two sides will not have a new agreement ready by then.
As “large gaps” still persist between the two sides, Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen previously said that a Brexit deal must be sealed by Sunday or there will be no deal. Now, the UK and EU leaders have agreed that by December 13 a firm decision should be taken about the future of the talks. Earlier, before his trip to Brussels, UK PM Boris Johnson had also said that EU’s terms of a post-Brexit trade deal were intended to “punish” Britain. In an address to the parliament, the British PM said that the EU had to dismiss the terms that are clearly "unacceptable" to the UK as an independent nation if there has to be a Brexit trade deal.
The UK is yet to reach an agreement for post-Brexit trade with respect to fisheries activities, freedom of competition, handling of future relations, and police and judicial cooperation on criminal matters. Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney told RTE news that the talks for an agreement had hit a downbeat, both EU and UK had ramped up efforts to make progress in the negotiations as time is running out. Extensive negotiations are needed in the field of governance and fisheries and the outcome is still uncertain.