Johnson says London and Brussels “are still a long way off”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
EFE

The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said this Sunday that the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) “They are still very far away on key issues”, despite the decision of both to continue negotiating a post-Brexi in the coming days.

Speaking to the BBC, the conservative Johnson maintained that his government “will not withdraw from the talks” with the Twenty-seven, because “an agreement is still possible” if the EU

At the same time, he called on the citizens and companies of the United Kingdom at the end of the transition period on December 31 and start trading under the generic rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Earlier, Johnson and the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, issued a joint statement in which announced that the parties will continue negotiating “to see if an agreement can be reached” on the future bilateral relationship, albeit at the last minute.

Johnson y Von der Leyen, que They had marked this Sunday as the deadline To decide the course of the talks, they spoke by phone this morning about the pending issues and decided to continue the dialogue.

However, in his statements to the public channel, the conservative leader stressed that the “most likely” outcome today is for the United Kingdom to separate from the EU without a pact at the end of the year and start trading on January 1 , under the protection of the tariff rules of the WTO.

“Whatever happens, the UK will do very, very well”, he claimed.

Johnson explained that he repeated his offer to speak personally with European leaders, in countries such as France or Germany, but said that the European Commission insists on holding talks between them.

“Let’s see what we can achieve but, in the meantime, prepare with confidence for January 1, to trade according to the UNWTO,” he said.

About the tone maybe more optimistic perceived in Von der Leyen’s public statementHe said: “If Ursula is optimistic, I think it’s great, but from what I see there are still very difficult issues that separate the UK and the EU.”

These issues continue to be the rules and mechanisms to ensure fair competition and access to the UK’s fishing waters after its departure from European structures at the end of the post-Brexit transitional period, which officially ran on January 31.

“The UK must keep trying, it’s what the people of this country would want” and he will do so “creatively” and “with his heart,” but he will not compromise on his willingness to “control the laws and the fisheries,” Johnson said.

Before this intervention, which could be both a firm position and a negotiating strategy, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said it is “a good sign” that London and Brussels have decided to continue negotiating the post-Brexit pact.

In a message on Twitter, Coveney noted that it is time to stay calm and “allow negotiators to make progress” even down the stretch.

“The Joint statement on Brexit negotiations is a good sign. An agreement is clearly very difficult but possible, “he said.

The next few days will be key to see how the bilateral talks evolve, which could theoretically last until December 31.

While the British Executive accelerates preparations in the event of a non-agreed exit, business organizations are pressing for a grace period to be agreed so that they can adapt to the new situation.

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