Brexit news latest – Boris gives EU 24 hours to BACK DOWN or UK will walk away with no deal as trade deadline looms

BORIS Johnson has given the EU 24 hours to back down on fishing demands or the UK will walk away with no deal.

Following discussions with EU Council President, Charles Michel and Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen last night, the PM agreed to extend his trade talks deadline by another day in the hope France and Spain give up on their demands to maintain fishing rights in British waters.

Although there has been significant progress towards a trade deal made over the past week, fishing rights remains the key sticking point.

EU officials have insisted they will not agree a deal at any price, with France and Spain joining forces this week to insist they will veto any agreement unless there is absolutely no change in their rights to fish in British waters.

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  • Emily Prescott

    SCOTLAND WANT INDEPENDENCE

    A clear majority of people would now back Scottish independence in a fresh vote, according to a new poll showing a record level of support.

    The survey by pollsters Ipsos MORI found that 58 per cent of those who said they were likely to vote in an independence referendum would vote Yes while 42 per cent would opt for No.

    But the prime minister has said the 2014 referendum, in which Scots voted against independence by 55-44 per cent, was a “once in a generation” ballot.

  • John Hall

    FRANCE SENDS FIRM MESSAGE TO BRITAIN

    France has today sent a message to Britain insisting it will not sacrifice its fishermen in Brexit negotiations.

    European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune tweeted: “Before the European Council, meetings and talks with the fishermen of portenbessin and its local leaders.

    “One single objective: to defend and protect the interests of fishermen.”

    In a second tweet, Beaune said: “We negotiate with calmness and great firmness, we're fighting … for French fishing.”

  • John Hall

    DIFFERENCES REMAIN

    EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has met his UK counterpart in London for the latest round of talks on their post-Brexit trading relationship.

    Downing Street said the meeting with Lord Frost – held with less than a week to go until the UK's deadline for agreeing a deal – had been “useful”.

    But differences remained on important issues, a spokesperson added.

    A No 10 spokesman confirmed that informal discussions would resume in Brussels next week. “We have had useful discussions this week,” the spokesman said.

  • John Hall

    TOUGH TALKS

    Boris Johnson expressed disappointment at the scant progress so far and said he would decide whether to continue talks with the EU after the summit.

    A source close to the talks said the UK's Brexit negotiator would advise Johnson that arriving at an agreement was not impossible if sides intensify talks in the coming weeks.

    The top EU officials – summit chairman Charles Michel and the head of the bloc's executive arm that is negotiating with Britain on behalf of the whole EU – pushed Johnson in the call for progress.

    Fisheries is crucial to France and President Emmanuel Macron is expected to take a hard line on Thursday.

    The EU has warned it will not leave the matter to be solved last.

  • John Hall

    BREXIT

    The 27 EU national leaders are due to step up contingency plans if no agreement emerges in time on trading with Britain without tariffs or quotas.

    A German government source said the bloc would “continue the negotiations for as long as possible”.

    They added: “The European Union will not be the ones getting up from the table.”

    The EU says a deal must come in early November at the latest to allow enough time for ratification by the European Parliament and some national chambers before the year ends.

  • John Hall

    THE PRESSURE IS ON

    European Union leaders will pressure the UK today for concessions in their troubled Brexit talks.

    They are expected to say a trillion euros worth of trade could be sunk if the UK does not budge on fisheries, fair competition and solving disputes.

    Months of painstaking talks have narrowed the gaps on issues from energy ties to coordinating social benefits from 2021 when Britain's standstill transition period after leaving the bloc ends.

    An EU official has said: “We have been making good progress but good is not good enough.

    “We have not found a solution on the three issues that are very difficult… so we cannot say we are close to an agreement.”

  • John Hall

    GERMANY WARN FRANCE TO BACK DOWN ON BREXIT DEMANDS

    Germany warned France last night to back down on demands to fish UK waters or “get nothing” in a major Brexit split.

    British negotiators agreed to carry on talking despite Boris Johnson's trade deal deadline set for today as the EU big beasts began to fracture on avoiding No Deal.

    Emmanuel Macron was warned by German government figures that his hardline fishing demand risks talks collapsing and leaving the whole EU empty-handed.

    Berlin warned the French President that the entire bloc will see its boats shut out of UK waters and their quotas cut to “zero” if he doesn't compromise.

    A source close to Angela Merkel sounded the alarm ahead of EU leaders gathering in Brussels today for a crucial showdown on the state of the talks.

    A German government source said: “Everybody knows if there's No Deal then the EU quota in British waters will be zero. Now it's 100.”

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