Brexit: UK businesses urge PM Boris Johnson for trade deal with EU

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Dec 13, 2020, 09:28 PM(IST)

File photo: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Confederation of British Industry director-general Tony Danker said the news of Brexit talks continuing "gives hope", but demanded the government fix the IT rollout and offer more support to businesses

UK businesses urged for compromise on Sunday after UK PM Boris Johnson said failure remains the 'most likely' outcome of negotiations to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with European Union. Although UK and EU have agreed to continue the talks beyond the agreed deadline of Sunday, December 13, both sides appear far from reaching an agreement.

"I'm afraid we're still very far apart on some key things, but where there's life there's hope," Johnson told reporters, after agreeing with EU commission chief Ursula von der Leyen to push on with negotiations.

"The UK certainly won't be walking away from the talks. I still think there's a deal to be done if our partners want to do it," Johnson said at 10 Downing Street after briefing his cabinet about the call.

Confederation of British Industry director-general Tony Danker said the news of talks continuing "gives hope", but demanded the government fix the IT rollout and offer more support to businesses.

Also Read | Brexit deal talks to continue, says EU chief on day of the deadline

UK and EU are ironing out details over competition rules, fishing rights and economic fair play.

"The most likely thing now is of course we have to get ready for WTO terms," Johnson added, referring to tariffs and quotas on the basic rules of trade set by the World Trade Organization.

The trade between UK and EU will be carried out as per World Trade Organisation (WTO) regulations in the event of no-deal Brexit.

"Either way, whatever happens, the UK will do very, very well," said Johson.

UK businesses welcomed the agreement to keep talking, but disagreed strongly with Johnson's cheerful forecasts for Britain's future if it severs all ties with its biggest overall trading partner from the New Year.

Also Read | Brexit: Bank of England talks of 'disruption' in financial services in new year

"We now need negotiators to finish the job and agree the deal we all so desperately need," Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders chief executive Mike Hawes tweeted.

'Catastrophic'

Hawes added: "'No deal' would be nothing less than catastrophic for the automative sector, its workers and their families, and represent a stunning failure of statecraft. Quite simply, it has to be ruled out."

Nissan has warned that a no-deal Brexit would make its Sunderland car factory in northeast England, which employs more than 6,000 workers, unviable due to the restoration of tariffs on cross-Channel trade.

Last week, Japanese automaker Honda suspended production at its British plant for a day after suffering a shortfall in parts, owing to blockages at ports caused by the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit stockpiling.

(With AFP inputs)

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