LONDON, Sept 7 — The United Kingdom and the European Union have until October 15 to agree on terms of a free trade agreement after Brexit, otherwise both parties better abandon the talks and “move on,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to say on Monday, according to a transcript released by his office.
“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. 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,” Johnson will say.
According to the transcript, London and Brussels have now reached “the final phase” of negotiations.
In the case if talks fail, the UK and the EU will to trade under a model that the bloc has with Australia, which Johnson says will be “a good outcome” for the UK, reported Sputnik news agency.
“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,” Johnson will say.
The prime minister stresses, however, that a “standard free trade agreement” remains a preference for London and that he “will be delighted” if the EU is ready to “rethink their current position and agree.”
“But we cannot and will not compromise on the fundamentals of what it means to be an independent country to get it,” Johnson will add.
The UK withdrew from the EU on January 31. The two have agreed to a transition period until December 31 to negotiate the bilateral trade terms post-Brexit. The items they so far disagree on are regulations on fisheries and state aid.