British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that there is a strong possibility the UK will fail to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU. Speaking for the first time since a crunch meeting in Brussels, the Prime Minister said now is the time” for firms and people to prepare for a no deal outcome. Talks continue between the two sides, but Mr Johnson said they were not yet there at all in securing a deal.
Time is running out to reach an agreement before the UK stops following EU trade rules on 31 December.
Weeks of intensive talks between officials have failed to overcome obstacles in key areas, including competition rules and fishing rights. Mr Johnson met European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday, but the pair failed to make a breakthrough.
Meanwhile, travelers from the UK could be banned from entering the European Union from January 1 under current coronavirus restrictions. The current Brexit transition period ends on December 31 and these travel restrictions will still apply even if the UK and EU strike a trade deal.
A European Commission official said, from that date UK travelers will be subject to the same travel restrictions as all other non-EU countries which — due to the coronavirus pandemic — bars all but essential travel to Europe.