British PM approaches businesses to prepare for no post-Brexit free trade agreement with EU

British PM approaches businesses to prepare for no post-Brexit free trade agreement with EU. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a statement on Friday asking businesses in the UK to “get ready” ahead of the January 1, 2021 deadline.

The announcement comes days after the European Union (EU) failed to reach a consensus in response to Britain’s demand for a free trade agreement (FTA) following its exit from the trading bloc at the end of this year.

Reports are interpreting Johnson’s statement as a warning that the UK must prepare for the possibility of a no post-Brexit FTA with the EU. Britain had first voted to leave the 27-member EU in 2016 through a referendum. It formally left the trading bloc in January of this year and entered into a transition period with unchanged guidelines till January 1, 2021.

Reports suggest that British negotiators sought a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU like the one Canada has with the trading bloc. In any case, it seems that the EU has decided to bring to the table Britain a FTA like the one it has with Australia which is based on standards of global free trade.

“We generally realized that there would be change on January 1 whatever type of relationship we had. And so now is the time for our businesses to get ready, and for hauliers to get ready, and for travelers to get ready,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in his statement issued from Downing Street on Friday.

The statement went on to add, “From the outset we were totally certain that we didn’t want anything more complicated than a Canada-style relationship, based on friendship and free trade. To judge by the latest EU summit in Brussels that won’t work for our EU partners.”

“They [EU] want the continued ability to control our legislative freedom, our fisheries, in a way that is obviously unacceptable to an independent country,” the statement issued by PM Boris Johnson said.

Then, President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen reiterated that the trading bloc will continue to work for a deal with Britain, “but not at any price”. The EU’s negotiating team is scheduled to visit London next week to continue negotiations.

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