Brexit: Johnson has ‘not got the guts’ for no deal says Habib
Meanwhile Boris Johnson has initiated a £4billion operation to prepare Britain for a no-deal departure from the EU at the end of the month with prospects of an agreement looking remote. Mr Lowe was reacting to a joint statement issued by Ursula von der Leyen and Boris Johnson after their phone call at 12noon Brussels time today, in which they confirmed their willingness to “go the extra mile”. Mr Lowe told Express.co.uk: “How long can this charade go on? “I am absolutely sure we should walk away now. When is a deadline not a deadline? We should have upped stumps by now.”
The nation’s civil servants have also been told they will work through Christmas to ensure preparations are in place.
In addition, 900 extra border officers will be stationed in the Dover to ensure food, medicine and other vital supplies get through.
However, supermarkets have also been urged to stockpile food, according to the Sunday Times.
The Prime Minister will also chair an exit operations committee to prepare the response.
Rupert Lowe said the ongoing talks were a “charade” (Image: GETTY)
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Speaking at a fundraising event last night, Mr Johnson told Tories: “Everybody is going to have to get ready, whatever the terms of the new arrangements we have with our friends and partners in Europe. We are ready.
“No matter how difficult the negotiations will become, these are people who worked with us for 45 years and we have got to continue to do that.
“It’s not as though we are going to cease trade with them. We want to do more business if we possibly can, but we want to do it on slightly different terms.”
A government insider said last night: “Talks are continuing overnight, but as things stand the offer on the table from the EU remains unacceptable.
“The Prime Minister will leave no stone unturned in this process but he is absolutely clear that any agreement must be fair and respect the fundamental position that the UK will be a sovereign nation in three weeks’ time.”
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PUNISH BRITAIN so other EU states live in fear was Brussels sole goal [COMMENT]
Boris Johnson being REJECTED from speaking with Merkel is an ‘insult’ [SPOTLIGHT]
EU PANIC: Startled leaders left fearing worst after no deal warning [ANALYSIS]
Boris Johnson briefs his Cabinet at Number 10 (Image: Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street)
Boris Johnson has been told to walk away from trade talks with the European Union in a move that would result in a no-deal outcome for the UK, according to the latest Express.co.uk poll.
in the latest Express.co.uk poll, thousands of readers have told Mr Johnson to walk away from trade deal negotiations with the EU immediately.
The poll, which ran from 6.30pm until 10.30pm on Sunday December 13 and saw 15,054 votes cast, asked: “The UK and EU extend trade talks, but should Boris walk away now?”
A huge 92 percent (13,883 readers) said the Prime Minister should now leave EU talks and take the UK out of the bloc without a deal in place.
The remaining eight percent (1,064 readers) disagreed, while less than one percent (107 readers) were undecided.
Brexiteers have hit back at Guy Verhofstadt after the Belgian MEP fumed about the threat to deploy Royal Navy gunboats to patrol UK fishing waters in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
Mr Verhofstadt took to Twitter after the Ministry of Defence confirmed that four 80-metre armed vessels have been placed on standby to guard British waters from EU trawlers if there is no new agreement on fishing rights after December 31 when the transition period ends.
The Belgian MEP said: “Gunboats to protect fish! Is this really what people voted for? We are your allies and partners, not your enemies!”
But Brexiteers were quick to hit back at Mr Verhofstadt.
Brexiteer Tony Abbott has argued it would be the EU’s fault if there is a no-deal Brexit as he slammed Brussels for holding the UK back.
Advisor to the Board of Trade and former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott insisted the UK would be fine with or without a Brexit deal.
While speaking on LBC, he argued if a no-deal Brexit was to occur it would be the EU’s fault for how they have behaved in the trade talks.
Mr Abbott also highlighted the many ways Britain would still be an influential world power after it finally cut ties with the European Union.
He said: “Obviously it would be much better to have a Canadian-style deal than no deal.
“But if it turns out to be no deal that is not Britain’s fault, that is the EU’s fault.
“I see my role as an advisor for the board of trade as essentially being a cheerleader for Britain.”
Brexit news: Michel Barnier will brief EU ambassadors in Brussels on Monday morning (Image: GETTY)
The UK and European Union have agreed to extend post-Brexit trade deal talks in a last-ditch attempt to reach an agreement, but should Boris Johnson walk away from the negotiating table now?
6.30pm update: Scottish Office minister says tariffs on goods after no-deeal Brexit ‘not the end of the world’
David Duguid told Politics Scotland: “That’s not necessarily the end of the world.
“We talk about financial tariffs, we talk about non-tariff barriers, these are all the things we’re trying to avoid with a free trade agreement.
“We export from countries we don’t have free trade agreements with, on Australia terms for example, which is the expression often used.
“It doesn’t stop exports, it doesn’t stop trade.”
5.15pm update: Barnier to brief EU ambassadors on Brexit talks on Monday
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier will breif envoys from the bloc tomorrow morning to update them on the latest in trade deal talks with the UK.
Sebastian Fischer, an EU spokesman for Germany, which holds the bloc’s presidency, wrote on Twitter: “EU Chief negotiator Michel Barnier will brief EU Ambassadors tomorrow at 8.30 a.m. on the state of play of EU-UK negotiations.
“Ambassadors will then review the situation.”
Brexit news: Emmanuel Macron wants the EU to keep pushing the UK intio caving on a trade deal (Image: GETTY)
4.25pm update: SNP warns Boris to take no-deal option off the table
The SNP have called on Boris Johnson to take the option of a no-deal Brexit off the table.
Scotland’s Constitution Secretary Mike Russell has again pushed for o-deal to be definitively ruled out by the UK, after the Prime Minister warned the UK and EU are still “very far apart” in trade deal talks.
He also added a no-deal outcome is now very, very likely”.
Mr Russell said: “It is now time for the crippling uncertainty over the future of our trading relationship with the European Union to come to an end.
“Whatever the outcome of these protracted talks we know there will be very significant damage to Scotland’s economy and society because of the UK Government’s decision to leave the transition period on December 31 in the middle of a pandemic and a recession.
“But we also know that the worst outcome of all would be the disastrous impact of a no-deal Brexit which would lead to significant tariffs and the UK Government must rule this out immediately.”
Emmanuel Macron has urged fellow European Union leaders to “keep pushing” until the UK caves into its demands, according to Brussels insiders.
The French President has been among the more vocal supporters of the EU’s hardline approach and has vowed to veto any Brexit deal if the terms fail to meet the demands of his country’s fishing industry.
His demands come despite Boris Johnson insisting the UK will thrive with or without a deal from January after the transition period ends on December 31.
Mr Macron is also understood to have rejected Mr Johnson’s calls for face-to-face talks in a bid to break the Brexit deadlock.
According to diplomats, Mr Macron told his EU counterparts: “Keep pushing and the British will fold.”
But Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the French were “crazy” to make “aggressive demands” when a no deal scenario would leave their boats with “zero assured access” to UK fishing grounds.
Simon Coveney said a deal was “still possible” (Image: GETTY)
Paul Withers taking over live reporting from Ciaran McGrath.
2.25pm update: Boris blocked from talking to Merkel and Macron – again
Boris Johnson has confirmed he has been rebuffed again in efforts to speak with European Union leaders as he strives to secure fresh trade terms.
Senior ministers have said in recent days that the current logjam in the post-Brexit trade talks requires a political solution, with the Prime Minister offering last week to tour European capitals in order to iron out the remaining differences.
But Mr Johnson confirmed that the European Commission has once again blocked his attempts to engage directly with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron as negotiations enter the 11th hour.
The two leaders are seen as powerbrokers in signing off on any EU compromises that might be required to ratify a deal.
Mr Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen agreed during a phone call on Sunday to continue trade negotiations, rolling over the deadline which had previously been set for the end of the weekend.
They agreed to go the “extra mile” in a bid to prevent a no-deal scenario on January 1 when transition arrangements come to an end.
Speaking from Downing Street after the call, Mr Johnson told broadcasters: “I’ve repeated my offer, which is if it is necessary to talk to other capitals, I’m very happy to do that.
“The Commission is very determined to keep the negotiations to the way they have been done, between us and the Commission. That’s fine.”
2.12pm update: Get ready for WTO, says Johnson
Boris Johnson added that the UK s