Brexit: Ben Habib issues warning to Boris Johnson
Last night, the Prime Minister and the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen agreed for a “final throw of the dice” in a bid to secure a deal before the end of the transition period on December 31.
Brexit negotiations have been gridlocked over issues including fishing rights and quotas, regulations and governance.
Mr Johnson and Ms von der Leyen warned “no agreement is feasible” unless there is movement of these issues with the two admitting talks were “totally stuck”.
A senior figure in No10 warned the chances of getting a deal were “no better than 50-50” despite more than four years and five months of negotiations.
But cabinet ministers – even those who backed remain – have urged the Prime Minister hold strong and refuse to “mirror” EU rules when the transition period ends.
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A remain-voting Cabinet member said: “Just get it done.
“The PM should do what is best.
“He has total, 100 percent rock-solid cabinet support.”
Another added, while they would prefer a deal, Britain cannot “sell out” on key issues.
They said: “I’d much rather we had a deal but he’s got a no deal mandate if that is his judgment.
“Covid and its economic impact is much bigger and we can’t be seen to sell out on key sovereignty issues.”
This comes after Brexit Tory MPs threatened a leadership challenge if Mr Johnson “sells out” to Brussels.
Two MPs have said they are prepared to send a letter demanding a vote of no confidence if Mr Johnson accepts Brussel’s terms.
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MP for Wycombe, Steve Baker, told colleagues he is willing to lead an uprising against the Prime Minister if he “betrays” hard Brexiteers.
Mr Baker led rebellions against former Prime Minister’s David Cameron and Theresa May.
And yesterday Nigel Farage issued a warning to Mr Johnson on Twitter.
The Brexiteer said: “I do hope that this lack of an agreement does not mean we are heading for an extension.
“After four and a half years, Brexit voters won’t tolerate that.”
Ministers have proposed the Government’s XO committee – which co-ordinates planning for a no deal – should meet almost around the clock.
Chaired by Michael Gove, the group meets every day but it is likely they will dramatically increase.
A UK source close to negotiations said: “This is the final throw of the dice.
“There is a fair deal to be done that works for both sides and this will only happen if the EU is willing to respect the fundamental principles of sovereignty and control.”
But on the other side, EU officials have raised concerns whether there was a political will to reach a deal.
An EU official told The Times: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
“The question is whether there is a will.”
They then accused Mr Johnson of “wanting to have his cake and eat it”.
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