The Prime Minister has signalled that mini-deals with the EU could be possible to keep aviation flowing in a no-deal situation
17 October, 2020, 03:25
After Johnson's bid to undercut the 2020 Brexit divorce treaty, there are fears that London is employing what one European diplomat said was Madman Theory - a reference to former U.S. President Richard Nixon's attempt to convince Moscow that he was irrational during the Cold War in the 1970s. "That can't be right in negotiations", he told Sky News television.
The pair, however, pledged to speak "early next week" in an indication that hopes of talks continuing have not been entirely extinguished, despite Downing Street telling reporters the negotiations were now "over".
"There is some apprehension over a possible decision later today by prime minister Boris Johnson that could see him call time on any further discussions on account of perceived foot dragging on the part of European Union officials", said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.
"There was accordingly no basis for negotiations in London as of Monday".
The official statement offers little to Johnson, dropping the line in an earlier draft that called for Barnier to "intensify" his discussions with Frost.
"EU wants United Kingdom fisheries to be under their rules".
Mr Johnson said "now is the time for our businesses, hauliers and travellers to get ready", however he remained willing to do mini-deals on areas where progress had been made, including on social security coordination, or aviation, road haulage and nuclear cooperation.
In his broadcast statement, the Prime Minister said it was clear from the gathering in the Belgian capital the European Union was not prepared to offer Britain the kind of Canada-style free trade agreement it was seeking.