Boris Johnson has warned it is “very, very likely” that the UK will fail to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union. It comes as it has been claimed that he was snubbed by Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron after he requested a phone call with them to try and unblock Brexit talks.
The Prime Minister said he was “hopeful” that progress could be made in talks but stressed that the two sides remained stuck on fisheries and the so-called level-playing field.
Speaking to reporters on a visit to Blyth in Northumberland, he said: “Unfortunately at the moment, as you know, there are two key things where we just can’t seem to make progress.
“And that’s this kind of ratchet clause they’ve got in to keep the UK locked in to whatever they want to do in terms of legislation, which obviously doesn’t work.
“And then there is the whole issue of fish where we’ve got to be able to take back control of our waters. So there is a way to go – we’re hopeful that progress can be made.
“But I’ve got to tell that from where I stand now, here in Blyth, it is looking very, very likely that we will have to go for a solution that I think would be wonderful for the UK, and we’d be able to do exactly what we want from January.
“It obviously would be different from what we’d set out to achieve but I have no doubt this country can get ready and, as I say, come out on World Trade terms.”
Johnson appears to have been snubbed by Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron after he requested a phone call with them to try and unblock Brexit talks.
A senior EU official said the request for a three-way call on Monday was rejected because all negotiations should go via the European Commission
The claim, which is not being denied by the UK side, comes as Ursula von der Leyen told leaders at a summit in Brussels that a no-deal was now more likely than not.
Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan was furious, he Tweeted: “I stand with millions of Britons that are deeply insulted at the shocking news that the German Chancellor has refused the British Prime Minister’s request for a telephone call. This is an insult to every Briton, whether they support our PM or not.”
He followed that up with” “Have our EU “friends” no regard or respect for the UK and our nations’ sacrifices that permit them to live in freedom and prosperity today, safely away from the shadow of totalitarianism?”
He wasn’t finished though…
He then wrote: “The EU’s contemptuous treatment of the UK makes it clear there cannot be a deal until it accepts the UK as a sovereign equal and awards us the respect and regard we merit.”
However, not everyone was as outraged as Khan.