UK's Gove Says Britain 'Well Prepared' for No-Deal Brexit

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 18, 2020

Johnson's spokesman said talks were now over and there was no point in the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier coming to London next week barring a change in approach.

A senior British minister has said there is a less than 50% chance of the United Kingdom striking a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union.

In his broadcast statement, the Prime Minister said it was clear from the gathering in the Belgian capital the European Union was not prepared to offer Britain the kind of Canada-style free trade agreement it was seeking.

In a round of broadcast interviews on Sunday, Gove said that the door was still "ajar" for talks, but he was less hopeful than he had been in recent weeks that a new trade deal will be reached. French President Emmanuel Macron said Britain needed a Brexit deal more than the 27-nation EU.

European Union leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte have said the bloc was still willing to seek compromise. But Dominic Raab insists the bloc must show more "flexibility" if it wants to make a deal.

"If he can not provoke us to leave the table he has to do it himself".

"But I still hope we will get a deal through."

"A deal is the only outcome that protects Covid-hit livelihoods at a time when every job in every country counts", she said.

The bloc had squandered some of the progress made in negotiations because it had not been willing to intensify talks or produce detailed legal texts, Gove said.

"We have drawn the conclusion that unless their approach changes, they are not interested and they have in effect drawn stumps". "And we should do it with great confidence", he said.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen had responded to his media statement by vowing that the EU would carry on negotiating, suggesting talks next week in London would go ahead as planned.

The two sides have been at loggerheads for months over the issues of future fishing rights and state aid rules.

European Union leaders refused to back down, with Emmanuel Macron telling reporters that they were "not there simply to make the British prime minister happy". "This of course means that we, too, will need to make compromises", she said.

Mr Johnson said Britain could embrace the prospect of trading on WTO terms - with tariffs on many goods and some quota restrictions - with "high hearts and complete confidence".

Johnson had repeatedly asserted that his preference is for a deal but that Britain could make a success of a no-deal scenario, which would throw $900 billion in annual bilateral trade into uncertainty and could snarl the border, turning the southeastern county of Kent into a vast truck park.

Points of contention still lie around fair competition rules, dispute resolution and fisheries.

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