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Johnson Sets Brexit Deadline

The Prime Minister has set a deadline for the end of Brexit negotiations if no deal is agreed.

Boris Johnson has drawn a line for the 15th of October to end talks if they continue to stall. There have been seven rounds of negotiations so far, with an eighth due to begin this week, but still major impasses remain, leading to Johnson saying: “There is no sense in thinking about timelines that go beyond that point.”

Talks have remained stagnant on key issues, including fishing rights, the future role of the European Court of Justice and the ‘level playing field’.

This led Mr Johnson to say: “The EU have been very clear about the timetable. I am too. There needs to be an agreement with our European friends by the time of the European Council on 15 October if it’s going to be in force by the end of the year.

Picture by Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street

“So there is no sense in thinking about timelines that go beyond that point. If we can’t agree by then, then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on.”

In the event of a no deal scenario Johnson said: “We will of course always be ready to talk to our EU friends even in these circumstances. We will be ready to find sensible accommodations on practical issues such as flights, lorry transport, or scientific cooperation, if the EU wants to do that.

“Our door will never be closed and we will trade as friends and partners – but without a free trade agreement.”

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Johnson’s comments come following an interview with the Mail on Sunday in which the UK’s Chief Negotiator, David Frost, said that the UK would not “blink” during negotiations with the EU. He also said that the UK would not become a “client state” of the EU.

He continued by attacking the previous UK negotiating team for having “its bluff called at critical moments, and the EU had learned not to take our word seriously.”

Michel Barnier, the EU’s Chief Negotiator, is due to fly to London for talks beginning on Tuesday.