Call their bluff! Boris urged to walk away from EU talks and secure WTO trade deal

Brexit: Dominic Raab fails to rule out extension to talks

Mr Johnson should quit talks and secure a WTO relationship with the bloc due to Brussels “barriers” still remaining in place. The Prime Minister and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen held crunch talks over dinner in Brussels yesterday evening in a bid to break the ongoing impasse over their future trading relationship. They agreed that a decision on the future of the negotiations will be taken by the end of the weekend, but both sides warned afterwards that “very large gaps” remain.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also warned today that talks are unlikely to be extended after Sunday.

But MP for Wokingham John Redwood believes the UK may be better off without the “EU barriers”.

He tweeted: “Project fear continues to pour out nonsense about a No deal Brexit, based on empty threats.

“The UK trades well with China, the USA and many others under WTO rules and with all the EU barriers and tariffs in place.

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“Supply lines and our borders work fine for this.”

Free trade between the EU and UK ends on January 1 when the transition period ends.

Without a deal, the UK would trade on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms.

This would mean imports and exports to and from the EU, and other countries the UK has no trade deal with, would be subject to tariffs and checks at the border,

Boris Johnson also hinted at the prospect of no deal this week as he warned the UK could walk away from talks before the end of the transition period on December 31.

The UK also said in a statement that there had been “a frank discussion about the significant obstacles which remain in the negotiations”.

A Number 10 spokesperson said: “Very large gaps remain between the two sides and it is still unclear whether these can be bridged.”

Mr Raab added this morning that it is important to have “finality” in the talks after months of excruciating negotiations.

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He told the BBC: “I think it’s unlikely but I can’t categorically exclude it.”

He added that there has not been “enough pragmatism and flexibility on the EU side” and called for “substantial movement” from the EU in order to seal a deal before the weekend is out.

Mr Read also sent a stern warning to the EU that the UK would not “sacrifice” its ability to control fishing waters and laws on standards to achieve a trade deal with the EU.

He said: “No other country would accept that and nor would the EU in terms of its dealings with third countries.”

Mr Raab added the UK had shown “pragmatism” during the negotiations, especially on issues such as fisheries.

“On the fisheries, we’ve accepted that there needs to be some sort of transitional period but we must be able to control access to our own waters.

“We’ve agreed that we’d follow the EU’s approach to free trade deals with countries like Canada and Korea in relation to the so called level playing field requirements.

“What we’re not going to be treated… is in a way that no other country would accept, and nor would the EU accept.

“It’s about some basic respect for democratic principles.

“We’re ready to leave the transition period – we would much prefer a deal, no stone is being left unturned – but otherwise we’ll make a success of Brexit on Australian-style rules.”

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