British PM Boris Johnson slams EU: ‘Get ready’ for no-deal Brexit

Oct. 16 (UPI) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson cautioned Friday that Britain should prepare for a no-deal departure from the European Union, with a little more than two months before the transition period ends.

Britain and the EU have unsuccessfully been negotiating terms of a post-Brexit trade agreement since March. Both sides had hoped to come up with a deal by the end of the year and both had identified the middle of October as a de facto deadline for finding common ground.

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“There doesn’t seem to be any progress coming from Brussels,” Johnson said, adding that the European Union has been too inflexible during negotiations.

In his remarks Friday, Johnson accused the bloc of abandoning the idea of a free trade agreement and complained that Canada has a better deal than what EU negotiators have proposed for Britain.

“It does seem curious that after 45 years of membership, they can offer Canada terms they wouldn’t offer us,” he said.

“Since we have only 10 weeks until the end of the transition period on January 1, I have to make a judgment about the likely outcome and get us ready. And given that they have refused to negotiate seriously for much of the last few months and given that this summit appears explicitly to rule out a Canada-style deal, I’ve concluded that we should get ready for January 1 with arrangements that are more like Australia’s based on simple principles of global free trade.”

EU leader Ursula von der Leyen said the alliance will keep negotiating, but warned that there are limits to what it’s willing to give up.

“The EU continues to work for a deal, but not at any price,” von der Leyen tweeted. “As planned, our negotiation team will go to London next week to intensify these negotiations.”

Johnson has angered the EU by threatening to modify or “disapply” Brexit rules over shipments of goods between Britain and Northern Ireland, a move that drew opposition from multiple former British prime ministers.

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