Britain “has choices to make” if it wants a new trade deal with the European Union, three diplomatic sources with the bloc said on Monday, adding Brexit negotiators have yet to come up with mutually acceptable solutions for the three most contentious issues.
Ireland, the EU member states most exposed to Brexit, said on Monday London and the bloc had up to 10 days to unlock trade talks to avoid tariffs and quotas kicking in from 2021 and damaging an estimated trillion dollars worth of annual commerce.
“They haven’t quite reached where they had hoped to be,” one of the EU diplomats following Brexit said on Monday as talks between the bloc’s negotiator Michel Barnier and his UK counterpart, David Frost, resumed in Brussels.
A senior EU diplomat added: “Britain has choices to make.”
Both sources were speaking under condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is confident Britain will prosper even if his negotiating team are unable to strike a trade deal with the European Union, a statement from his office said on Monday.
“The Prime Minister has been clear that we will not accept any proposals in the negotiations that undermine our status as a sovereign, independent country and if the EU don’t respect the sovereignty of the UK we will leave on Australian terms and the Prime Minister is confident that we will prosper,” the statement said.