Boris Johnson stepped back from the brink of a No Deal Brexit today and pledged to ‘go the extra mile’ to seek a trade deal with the EU.
At the 11th hour the Prime Minister announced that talks that have been deadlocked for weeks would continue, having previously suggested that today was a hard deadline for progress to be made.
But after speaking to European Commission president Ursula Von Der Leyen this morning he agreed they would go into next week – leaving both sides just a fortnight to find a way to break the impasse over fishing and trade dispute resolution.
With less than three weeks until the end of the transition period on December 31, UK supermarkets were told to start stockpiling supplies of vital foods and other necessities amid panic-buying fears.
There were huge queues in Kent outside Dover yesterday, following similar tailbacks at Calais on Friday, as retailers and suppliers began ‘stock-building’ amid rising gloom at the chances of a trade deal with Brussels.
There are fears of shortages of vegetables – which predominantly come from EU nations – for months at the start of 2021 if negotiators locked in last-gasp talks today fail to bridge a gaping chasm on fishing rights and trade rules.
Mr Johnson did not try to sugar-coat the pill as he spoke to journalists after his call to Ms Von der Leyen, saying the UK should ‘get ready to trade on WTO terms’ in case there was no solution.
‘As things stand, and this is what Ursula and I agreed, I’m afraid we are still very far apart on some key things,’ he said.
‘But where there is life, there’s hope. We are going to keep talking to see what we can do.
‘The UK certainly won’t be walking away from the talks. I think people will expect us to go the extra mile.’
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Source: Daily Mail