Thank you for contacting me about the EU negotiations.
The UK left the EU on 31 January with a deal. The question since that time has been whether we could agree a deeper trading relationship on the lines of the free trade agreement the EU has with Canada, or whether we have a trading relationship that is based on the 2019 deal, without a free trade agreement and along the lines of Australia’s relationship with the EU. The UK has never asked for a special, bespoke, or unique deal in the negotiations.
The Prime Minister has spoken to the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, and both have agreed that the conditions for finalising an agreement have not been met. Significant differences remain on governance, fisheries and level playing field arrangements.
It takes two to reach an agreement and it remains entirely possible that negotiations will not succeed. As the Prime Minister has previously explained, this means that we will have to prepare to trade with the bloc with arrangements similar to Australia’s from 1 January 2021. Businesses must prepare now for these changes.
I am confident that we will prosper as an independent nation. We will have control over our borders, laws and fisheries and our economic and political independence will be restored.