Although British PM Boris Johnson said the two sides were "still very far apart" on key issues, the UK and European Union have agreed to extend Brexit trade talks into this week. This made the pound jump almost one and a half cents against the dollar at $1.336, and nearly one cent against the euro at €1.1.
On Monday, European Union Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said agreeing a new trade deal was still possible: “We’ve only been negotiating for nine months, we’ve needed at least five years for all the previous agreements, we are going to give every chance to this agreement... which is still possible.”
“A good, balanced agreement. That means two conditions which aren’t met yet. Free and fair competition... and an agreement which guarantees reciprocal access to markets and waters. And it’s on these points that we haven’t found the right balance with the British. So we keep working.”
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen stated that negotiators would "go the extra mile" to breach the impasse after what she described as a ‘useful’ phone call with Johnson. No new deadline was set by either side as the Sunday zero hour for an end to talk came and went.
In a separate statement, Johnson said: "The UK can't be locked into the EU's regulatory orbit and we've obviously got to take back control of our fisheries 4.5 half years after people voted for it. So those are the points. I think that it is very clear what the UK is talking about, let's see what we can achieve. But in the meantime, get ready, with confidence, for January 1 - trade on World Trade Organization terms if we have to."
As explained on sharecast.com, without a trade agreement, the UK's future relations with the EU will be governed by WTO rules, including the imposition of import duties. A post-Brexit transition period ends on December 31 and British companies have been stockpiling imported EU products, with huge lines of trucks piling up at French border points.
Photo source: Joaquin Corbalan | Dreamstime.com