BREXIT LIVE: Boris promises deal WILL be done by end of 2020 – but EU gives shock warning

Posted on Jan 14 2020 - 10:15am by admin

Boris Johnson gave his first TV interview since the December 2019 general election this morning and spoke about his determination to strike a trade deal with the EU by the December 2020 deadline. He told the BBC the chances of striking a trade deal was “enormously likely, epically likely”. The Prime Minister also said the “key thing” was that the UK will be leaving the European Union at the end of the month.

Speaking on the likelihood of agreeing a comprehensive trade deal with the EU, the Prime Minister said: “I think it is very likely indeed. The key think is that we are coming out of the EU on January 31, the end of this month.”

He then went on to say the chances of striking a trade deal was “enormously likely, epically likely”.

He said: “Obviously you always have to budget for a complete failure of judgement but i am very very very confident that we will get a trade deal.” 

It comes after the European Commission warned it has a “limited margin” to offer the UK a better deal than other countries, such as Canada.

The warning was issued via a 46-page document discussing the EU’s future relationship with the UK, that was shared with EU27 countries on Monday and subsequently shared with the public.

The EU’s tough approach from the outset may lie in the so-called most-favoured-nation clauses included in the EU’s most recent trade deals with other countries, including Canada, Japan and Vietnam.

The clause mean that if a more generous offer is made to new trade partners, such as the UK, it would automatically apply to existing deals.

As a result, the EU may be reluctant to agree beneficial terms with Mr Johnson.

But the Prime Minister is determined to strike a free trade deal with the EU that offers the UK a whole host of benefits.

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9:28am update: Nigel Farage exposes Verhofstadt’s last ditch attempt to block Brexit

Nigel Farage has revealed that Belgium MEP Guy Verhofstadt has been planning ways for the EU Parliament to “block” Boris Johnson’s Brexit Bill, and therefore stop the UK from leaving the EU.

The Brexit Party leader told Sky: “The 29th of this month, there’ll be a big debate in Brussels, and there’ll be a vote after that.

“There’s some talk from Mr Verhofstadt that maybe the Parliament could block us leaving on the current terms that have been agreed.

“It isn’t going to happen.

“What I’ve found here in the last 2 days is a general acceptance that the UK is leaving.”

8.53am update: Lobby groups asked to return no deal Brexit cash 

The Government is trying to claw back some of the £10million paid to trade organisation to prepare for a no deal Brexit last October, the Financial Times report. 

The Treasury handed out vast sums of cash to lobby groups, randing from tens to hunders of thousands each. 

But some of the group used up all the money as part of its no deal preparations, with a Freedom of Information request revealing 131 groups used the money to stage events and raise no deal awareness with its members. 

8.17am update: Boris says Government is ‘looking into’ chiming Big Ben on Brexit Day

The Prime Minister said the current obstacle preventing Big Ben from chiming is the huge cost involved.

He told the BBC: “The bongs cost £500,000, we’re working up a plan so people can bung a bob for Big Ben.

“Because Big Ben is being refurbished they have taken the clapper. So we need to restore the clapper in order to bong Big Ben on Brexit night, that is expensive.

“We are looking at whether we can fund it.”

8.15am update: Trade deal is about ‘building a great new partnership’ with friends around the world

Boris Johnson said the upcoming trade talks are a chance to “build a great new parternship with friends and partners around the world”, and highlighted that talks will not just be held between the UK and the EU.

He said the UK will be “leading the cause of global free trade”.

8.13am update: Boris says comprehensive trade deal is ‘enormously likely’

Speaking to the BBC on the likelihood of agreeing a comprehensive trade deal with the EU, the Prime Minister said: “I think it is very likely indeed. The key think is that we are coming out of the EU on January 31, the end of this month.”

He then went on to say the chances of striking a trade deal was “enormously likely, epically likely”.

He said: “Obviously you always have to budget for a complete failure of judgement but i am very very very confident that we will get a trade deal.”

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