The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not walk away from the Brexit negotiations on Thursday, October 15, and will endorse the continuation of the almost overstretched complicated post-Brexit trade negotiations with the EU.
Boris Johnson will allow time for further discussion after being advised on the latest progress by Brexit chief negotiator David Frost. Close sources to the talks said progress has been made in a couple of areas but the major points of fisheries, enforcement of the agreement and future state subsidies policy remain stalled.
Downing Street is patiently waiting for any outcome from the summit of European leaders in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, with Lord Frost set to tell Michel Barnier that future negotiations will have to be intensified if ever they are to seal a deal in the coming weeks.
Mr Johnson will call on Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen to also intensify talks in the weeks ahead.
European leaders are expected to take stock of the negotiations over a UK and EU trade agreement at a summit tomorrow.
Mr Johnson has previously suggested he wanted to know whether a deal is achievable ahead of the gathering.
EU chiefs will say progress in the talks with Britain is “still not sufficient” to reach an agreement, according to draft summit conclusions.
The leaked memo says: “The European Council reaffirmed the Union’s determination to have as close as possible a partnership with the United Kingdom on the basis of the negotiating directives of February 29, 2020.
“Against this background, the European Council invited the Union’s chief negotiator to intensify negotiations with the aim of ensuring that an agreement can be applied from January 1, 2021.
“The European Council calls on member states, Union institutions and all stakeholders to step up their work on preparedness and readiness at all levels and for all outcomes, including that of no agreement.”
In recent weeks progress has been made on a number of technical issues, including aviation, road haulage, social security and law enforcement, but yet to be translated into draft legal texts, which some officials fear could still be another stumbling block in the talks.
A UK government source yesterday blamed Mr Barnier for the delay in starting work on the final agreement, he said, “The EU has been using the old playbook in which they thought running down the clock would work against the UK.
“They have assumed the UK would be more willing to compromise the longer the process ran, but in fact, all these tactics have achieved is to get us to the middle of October with lots of wasted work.
“This is all the more frustrating because it is clear that we have come a long way since the beginning of the year. We have approached the negotiations constructively and reasonably but time is now extraordinarily short. We need the EU to urgently up the pace and inject some creativity.”