Brexit 'Trade Talks Are Over', UK PM Johnson's Spokesman Says
Talks to agree a Brexit trade deal with the European Union are over, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman said on Friday, saying there was no point carrying on unless the bloc fundamentally changed its stance.
"The trade talks are over: the EU have effectively ended them by saying that they do not want to change their negotiating position," Johnson's spokesman said.
"There is no point in trade talks if the EU doesn't change its position. The EU effectively ended the trade talks yesterday. Only if the EU fundamentally changes its position, will it be worth talking."
He said the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier should only come to London next week as planned if he was prepared to discuss all of the issues on the basis of a legal text, or if he was willing to discuss practicalities on travel and haulage.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said it was 'deeply concerned' by the PM's comments suggesting a 'no deal' situation from 1st January 2021.
BRC chief executive, Helen Dickinson, added, “There is nothing retailers can do to insulate consumers from the impact of £3 billion (€3.3 billion) of new tariffs on food in our supermarkets.
"Moreover, new checks and red tape that will apply from 1st January will create additional disruption in the supply of many goods that come from or through the EU."
"Government must do what is necessary to agree on a zero-tariff agreement, or else it will be the public that pays the price,” she added.