Boris on Brexit: ‘we should get ready’ for no trade deal with EU

Prime Minister Boris Johnson advises the nation to get ready for no trade deal Brexit (Australia style trade deal) with the EU as the UK could not reach the ‘Canada style’ arrangement it was pushing for

Johnson has made a statement responding to the EU council's summit concluding today which did not make a great deal of progress on the issue of Brexit.

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said: ‘They want the continued abilities to control our legislative freedom, our fisheries, in a way that is completely unacceptable to an independent country.

‘Since we have only 10 weeks until the end of the transition period on 1 January 2021, I have to make a judgement about the likely outcome and to get us all ready.

‘Given that they have refused to negotiate for much of the last few months, and given that this summit appears explicitly to rule out a Canada style deal, I concluded that we should get ready for 1 January with arrangements that are more like Australia’s, based on simple principles of global free trade.’

This ‘Australian’ style trade deal will involve tariffs and other barriers from January.

Canada’s EU trade agreement

The EU's agreement with Canada is called the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA for short.

The EU began negotiating with Canada in 2009, and CETA provisionally came into force in 2017, although it has not yet been signed off by all the EU member states.

It cuts tariffs and makes it easier to export goods and services, benefitting people and businesses in both the EU and Canada.

Australia’s EU trade agreement

The Australian style EU trade agreement essentially means no trade deal, as Australia does not have a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU, so the bulk of their trade is done according to WTO rules.

It has been negotiating one with the EU since July 2018.

Johnson said: ‘Now is the time for our businesses to get ready and for travellers to get ready.

‘Of course, we are willing to discuss the practicalities with our friends where a lot of progress has already been made on such issues as social security, aviation, nuclear co-operation and so on.'

The Prime Minister has said this was an important week and that if a trade deal was not reached, he could walk away from trade talks with the EU.

However, he did mention that he could reopen the trade conversation if 'there is a fundamental change of approach, to offer this country the same terms as Canada'.

Johnson added: ‘In the meantime, the country will focus on tackling Covid and building back better so that 2021 is a year of recovery and renewal.’

Zak Jakubowski |Reporter, Accountancy Daily [2019-2021]

Zak Jakubowski was a reporter at Accountancy Daily, published by ...

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