European Views | The United Kingdom (UK) was confident its economy would prosper even without an agreed trade deal with the European Union (EU). UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was quoted as saying in a statement that the UK will not accept any proposals in the negotiations that undermine its status as a sovereign, independent country.
“And if the EU [does not] respect the sovereignty of the UK, we will leave on Australian terms and the Prime Minister is confident that we will prosper,” he added.
Johnson’s statement came just as UK’s chief negotiator Lord David Frost said that both parties were already making “progress in a positive direction,” albeit significant elements were yet to be agreed on.
For his part, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said that the bloc wanted “future cooperation to be open but fair.
“We remain determined, patient, respectful,” he said in a Twitter post.
Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said that the two parties still have a “very wide gap” on fishing and without progress on the issue since the summer.
“Until we can find a way of doing that, there isn’t going to be an agreement,” he was quoted as saying.
It can be learned that the UK and EU’s negotiators have again renewed talks on Monday to try to resolve both parties’ differing views particularly on fishing quotas and competition issues before the transition period for Brexit ends on December 31.
Johnson has earlier repeatedly said that the UK was ready to leave the bloc’s single market and customs union without any deal agreed upon.
Britain officially withdrew its membership with the EU on January 31 but will continue to follow the latter’s rules until the end of the year.
Should there be no agreement made, trade between the two parties will automatically follow the rules of the World Trade Organization, where tariffs will be imposed on each other’s goods. This would push up costs for both firms and consumers.
Both sides were willing to craft a deal to avoid taxes but the EU said it will not do a pact “at any price.”
The approval of the parliaments would still be needed if a deal will be agreed upon prior to the transition period.