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Boris Johnson: 'Strong possibility' of UK not reaching trade deal with EU

Boris Johnson: 'Strong possibility' of UK not reaching trade deal with EU
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U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday there was a “strong possibility” that a trade deal with the European Union would not be reached.

Johnson said it was looking increasingly unlikely that there would be an agreement before Dec. 31, when the U.K. is set to stop adhering to EU trade rules, the BBC reported.

The U.K. officially left the EU on Jan. 31 but was allotted an 11-month transition period to address issues like trade rules.

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Talks between the U.K. and the EU restarted last week as a final attempt to reach an agreement. However, both sides have said they remain far apart on several issues.

In a joint statement released Saturday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Johnson said although progress had been made, three critical issues prevented a deal from being reached: “level playing field, governance and fisheries.”

“Now is the time for the public and for businesses to get ready for January the first. Because believe me, there's going to be change either way,” Johnson said in an address regarding the progress of the agreement.

Johnson met with von der Leyen on Wednesday in Brussels, where they reportedly made little progress. Johnson said he was willing to travel to Paris and Berlin if necessary to finalize a deal, according to the BBC.

“I do think that we need to be very very clear there's now a strong possibility, strong possibility that we will have a solution that's much more like an Australian relationship with the EU than a Canadian relationship with the EU. That doesn't mean it's a bad thing," he said.

If no trade deal is reached, road connections will still operate and access to fishing waters may continue for up to year. However, border checks and taxes would be introduced on goods traveling between the U.K. and the EU.