The UK will complete its journey out of the European Union at the end of the year without a trade deal unless the bloc substantially shifts position on some issues, Reuters reports with reference to a source in the UK government.
“We cannot accept a deal that doesn’t leave us in control of our own laws or waters. We’re continuing to try every possible path to an agreement, but without a substantial shift from the Commission we will be leaving on WTO (World Trade Organization) terms on December 31,” the source informed.
Less than two weeks remain before the UK leaves the orbit of EU laws and regulations. Since Britain left the EU in January, the talks have been largely hamstrung over two issues - the bloc’s fishing rights in British waters and on creating a so-called level playing field providing fair competition rules for both sides.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the face of Britain’s 2016 campaign to leave the EU, has long said he cannot accept any deal that does not respect the country’s sovereignty, a goal that was at the heart of his election last year.
But the EU is equally determined to protect its lucrative single market and wants to prevent London securing what it considers to be the best of both worlds - preferential market access with the advantage of setting its rules.
Many businesses fear a failure to agree a deal on goods trade would send shockwaves through financial markets, hurt European economies, snarl borders, and disrupt supply chains.
As we reported earlier, the UK government has warned supermarkets to stockpile food and other essential supplies amid increasing fears of a no-deal Brexit in less than three weeks’ time.
There have already been widespread warnings from business leaders about possible shortages of fresh produce, possible delays in deliveries from the mainland and price increases in the event of a no-deal scenario – where the UK and EU fail to reach post-Brexit trade deal.