Britain has tried to use Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s October 15 deadline to rush negotiators in the Brussels bloc toward an agreement. The EU is due to assess progress on an agreement at the October 15-15 summit. Despite positive messages from Britain about the possibility of a Brexit deal, Brussels officials have offered a worrying assessment.
They claimed that the UK was “emphasizing a sense of positivity and momentum, but we are not just looking at it”.
An EU official told Politico.U: “We are seriously questioning their strategy and why they are sending this kind of message because no one is visible at the moment.
“Obviously there is a spin that the UK wants to get out of there: a deal is within reach, only fish is still a problem.
Nowhere at this stage did the EU see a red line deal as “absolutely nonsense.”
Another said, “Things are still unresolved,” as “extremely complex issues.”
And after a meeting with Mr Johnson, European Council President Charles Michel tweeted: “The EU prefers an agreement, but not at a price. It’s time for the UK to put the cards on the table.”
David Frost, the UK’s chief negotiator, told Parliament: “The landing zone and the nature of the agreement are quite clear if not properly written down yet.
“A deal is precisely achievable and can be achieved but equally it is possible that we will not get there.”
When Mr Johnson’s Brexit supremo, Michael Gove, was asked by a Conservative MP if the chances of a deal were still 66 per cent, he replied: “I think it’s okay.”
The UK officially left the European Union on 31 January, more than three years after the 2016 referendum voted 52% to 48% for BRACSIT.
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8am update: BoE boss says Brexit deal can be reached
Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey has said he believes Britain and the EU should be able to reach a trade agreement.
He told the Yorkshire Post: “I think it’s in the interests of both parties – let’s get a deal – let’s go –
“I am surprised that the EU wants to limit where its citizens can do business. We must keep our markets open to the world.”
7.52am Update: Coward Starmer urges Boris to support farmers
Labor leader Sir Kair Starr has called on the Prime Minister to support British farmers by ensuring higher food and agricultural standards in the UK in the wake of the Brexit.
Before inspecting Minette Batters ‘farm, the president of the National Farmers’ Union of Wiltshire, Sir Care warned that there was a “real risk” of substandard food on British plates if measures were not taken to maintain quality.
He wrote a letter to Boris Johnson, urging him to reform the agricultural sector to guarantee high quality and stop imports of substandard food, which has been the basis of agricultural policy since Brexit.
7.40am Update: Charles Michelle tour of Ireland
European Council President Charles Michel will visit Dublin today to discuss the Brexit talks.
He will meet with Irish Taoisek Michel Martin ahead of a summit of EU leaders in Brussels next week.
The Prime Minister of Ireland said there were still significant gaps in trade talks with the UK, adding: “I hope that with the intensification of negotiations, it will be possible to find a way to bridge the gap between the EU and the UK.
“EU leaders have repeatedly said that we want an agreement, but it cannot happen at any cost.
“The EU has made it clear that the UK needs to be committed to the full and faithful implementation of the withdrawal agreement, including the Irish Protocol.
“This issue urgently needs to be restored.”
7.35am update: ‘We must not stop fighting’ on fishing
Former MEP of the Brexit party, Jun Mummy, former founder of RAAF – founder of the East Anglian Fisheries Anchorage Renaissance, tweeted: “We will not stop fighting until our waters and resources are back in safe hands in the UK. There is no time for change.”