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President of the European Council, Charles Michel, insisted the EU remained determined to get a post-Brexit trade deal with the UK. While speaking at the EU Summit, he said the European Union was not prepared to do this at any cost. He claimed they were not prepared to move from their stance on fisheries or the level playing field despite Boris Johnson’s warning of a no deal scenario.
This comes after Boris Johnson said the UK should begin preparing for an Australian style agreement as talks have not proved as fruitful as hoped.
Sky News’ Adam Parsons asked during the Q and A section: “I wonder if you could give your thoughts in relation to Boris Johnson’s comments today?
“His comments about Brexit and his desire for a fundamental rethink on behalf of the European Union.”
Mr Michel insisted the EU remained united in their feelings towards Brexit and Britain.
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He said: “We had the occassion yesterday to agree on a message formally agreed by the 27 leaders.
“We are totally united, totally determined to work in order to make an agreement possible but not at any cost.
“What we said yesterday remains right today.”
Mr Michel insisted that despite the tension between the EU and UK he is still hopeful a deal will be agreed in time.
He continued: “We know Michel Barnier is committed to negotiate, we are ready to continue the negotiations.
“I hope that it will be possible to make progress in the future but I repeat, we are determined to reach a deal, but not at any cost.
“This is not a surprise that the level playing field and fisheries are very important topics for the EU and 27 member states.”
He also listed other reasons the EU is determined to move on other key issues.
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He said: “At the same time it is very important to guarantee the Good Friday Agreement and the peace in Ireland.
“We must also guarantee the integrity of the single market and I repeat the withdrawal agreement must be implemented in full.”
During a speech earlier on Friday, Mr Johnson said Brussels had abandoned the ambition of securing a trade deal.
He claimed the country was now more likely heading for what he called the “Australian solution”.
While not saying the UK was completely walking away from talks, he insisted the EU needed to fundamentally change their approach to the talks.
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