British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday that there were still issues in Brexit trade talks. Moreover, he said Britain would thrive without a deal.
The United Kingdom will leave the bloc’s informal membership without one. That’s on Dec 31 at 2300 London time, unless a trade deal with the EU is clinched in 10 days.
The Prime Minister spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron, who turned 43 today, about border issues. However, they did not discuss Brexit, Johnson said.
A Brexit trade deal would ensure that the goods trade would remain free of tariffs and quotas. The goods trade makes up 50% of annual EU-UK commerce, worth nearly a trillion dollars in all.
Britain says the talks revolve around two issues, the so-called level playing field and fishing. The government has repeatedly said the EU has to budge or there will be no deal.
Agreement on Goods Trade
Failure to clinch a deal on goods trade would send shockwaves through financial markets. Furthermore, it will hurt European economies, snarl borders and disrupt supply chains.
For Britain, zero-tariff and zero-quota access to the European single market of 450 million consumers would be lost overnight. That is what’s likely to happen in the case of a “no deal” on trade.
In its trade with the 27-state bloc, Britain would default to the World Trade Organization (WTO) terms. Moreover, it would impose its new UK global tariff (UKGT) on EU imports. This is while the EU would impose its common external tariff on UK imports.
Non-tariff barriers could hinder trade. Prices are widely expected to rise for British consumers and businesses.
Britain and France to Reach a Deal on Reopening Border
Meanwhile, in other economic news, Britain and France may reach an agreement over reopening their border by lunchtime on Tuesday.
The transport of freight across the English Channel has been interrupted. France suspended travel links with Britain in an attempt to curb a new faster spreading strain of the coronavirus.