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Michel Barnier has warned there are “just some hours” left to strike a post-Brexit commerce cope with the UK, as the 2 sides stand on the “second of reality”.

As talks resumed at the moment, Barnier mentioned that there’s a likelihood of getting a deal in time for the top of the transition interval on 31 December, however mentioned that the trail to a breakthrough is “very slim”.

His warning got here after Boris Johnson instructed the European fee president, Ursula von der Leyen, that the EU should “considerably” shift its stance on fishing, for an settlement, because the brinkmanship continued.

The EU set the most recent deadline that an settlement have to be prepared Sunday night time in an effort to have sufficient time for MEPs to ratify it, whereas the Home of Commons has been warned it could have to to unexpectedly return from Christmas recess to vote on a deal.

“It’s the second of reality,” Barnier instructed the European parliament in Brussels.


We’ve little or no time remaining, just some hours, to work via these negotiations in helpful style if we would like this settlement to enter into drive on 1 January. There’s a likelihood of getting an settlement however the path to such an settlement may be very slim.

The EU’s chief negotiator mentioned he was being “frank with you and open and honest” when he mentioned that he was unable to say what the outcome will probably be from the “final residence straight of negotiations”.

The prime minister and Von der Leyen took inventory of negotiations in a name on Thursday night. The EC president acknowledged “large variations” remained between the 2 sides and burdened that “bridging them will probably be very difficult”.

Johnson tweeted after the decision to say he instructed Von der Leyen that “time is brief and the EU place wanted to alter considerably”. Downing Avenue mentioned the prime minister warned it regarded “very possible” a deal wouldn’t be agreed except the bloc shifted its stance.

Boris Johnson
(@BorisJohnson)

I spoke to @vonderleyen this night on UK-EU negotiations, stressing time is brief and the EU place wanted to alter considerably.

Learn right here: https://t.co/FJsfdFAX2z pic.twitter.com/Bf9ZzukxKj


December 17, 2020

Settlement was getting nearer on the “degree enjoying subject” to make sure neither facet might unfairly compete eroding environmental requirements, employees’ rights or state subsidies, however fishing coverage remained a serious sticking level.

Johnson warned that the UK “couldn’t settle for a state of affairs” the place it was unable to manage entry to its waters and would have fishing quotas that “massively deprived its personal trade”, in keeping with a No 10 spokeswoman.


The EU’s place on this space was merely not affordable and if there was to be an settlement it wanted to shift considerably.

Barnier’s counterpart at No 10, Lord Frost, warned that progress “appears blocked” forward of talks resuming in Brussels.

David Frost
(@DavidGHFrost)

The state of affairs in our talks with the EU may be very critical tonight. Progress appears blocked and time is working out. The Prime Minister @BorisJohnson set out his considerations in regards to the state of play to Fee President @vonderleyen this night. https://t.co/wTOGrvXbWT


December 17, 2020

The Cupboard Workplace minister, Michael Gove, who has been in control of the federal government’s no-deal planning, mentioned on Thursday the possibilities of an settlement remained “lower than 50%”.

He instructed the Commons Brexit committee the “probably end result” was that the transition interval would finish on 31 December with out a deal.





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