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Brexit: Boris Johnson says no-deal outcome ‘looking very, very likely’ ahead of Sunday deadline


The PM suggests a breakthrough in deadlocked negotiations would need a “big offer, a big change” from the EU.


Boris Johnson has said a no-deal outcome from Brexit trade talks is “looking very, very likely” ahead of Sunday’s deadline for a decision on the negotiations.


The prime minister, speaking on a visit to Blyth in Northumberland on Friday, suggested a breakthrough in the deadlocked talks would need a “big offer, a big change” from the EU, but that he had “yet to see it”.


Mr Johnson outlined a Brussels demand for a “kind of ratchet clause” on so-called level playing field provisions, as well as the issue of fishing rights, as the two roadblocks to a post-Brexit trade deal being agreed.


“It is looking very, very likely that we will have to go for a solution that I think would be wonderful for the UK, and we’d be able to do exactly what we want from 1 January,” the prime minister said.


“It obviously would be different from what we’d set out to achieve but I have no doubt this country can get ready and, as I say, come out on World Trade terms.”

Falling back on World Trade Organisation terms for the UK’s future relationship with the EU would likely mean the imposition of trade tariffs in both directions.

Mr Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have set Sunday as a deadline for deciding whether a post-Brexit free trade agreement – aimed at eliminating tariffs – will be possible.


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