Boris Johnson says UK prepared to leave the EU on Australia terms if no deal reached

Britain is prepared to leave the European Union on the same terms as Australia has with the bloc if it cannot agree on a future trading deal, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Germany’s Angela Merkel in a telephone call on Tuesday, as Brexit negotiators held informal talks over a private dinner.

Negotiations remain stuck over questions including fishing rights, the future influence of EU courts in UK laws, and how far Britain will be able to loosen its rules and still enjoy access to the single market.

“On the future relationship, the prime minister underlined the UK’s commitment to working hard to find an early agreement out of the intensified talks process,” a Downing Street spokeswoman said.

“He also noted that the UK equally would be ready to leave the transition period on Australia terms if an agreement could not in the end be reached.”

Australia does not have a comprehensive trade agreement with the EU, and whilst much of EU-Australia trade follows default World Trade Organisation rules, specific agreements are in place for certain goods.

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