Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said today that it is time for the UK to “get ready” for the prospect of no free trade deal with the EU on 1st January.
Speaking from Downing Street after an EU summit – which both sides had initially said was the deadline for hammering out a trade deal – Mr Johnson said that Brussels had “abandoned” the ambition, but insisted “we always knew there would be change” next year once the tradition period ends “whatever type of relationship we had”.
The Prime Minister then said it looked like the country was heading for what he called “the Australian solution”.
He suggested that he is not completely walking away from negotiations however, and added that: “What we’re saying to them is come here, come to us, if there’s some fundamental change of approach.”
This announcement comes after the UK left the European Union (EU) on 31st January 2020.
After that date, the country then entered into what is known as a transition period and has been following many of the same rules, which meant that there was no change to trade and tariffs, or matters like freedom of movement.
Negotiators have since then been trying to set out a trade deal to come into force when the transition period draws to a close at the end of December.
However, Mr Johnson then said in a dramatic intervention that “there doesn’t seem to be any progress coming from Brussels”.
He told businesses and hauliers to “get ready” for there to be no free trade deal, instead urging people to “embrace the alternative” with “high hearts”.
He closed out by vowing that UK will “prosper mightily”.