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Iran Press TV

PM Boris Johnson arrives in Brussels in combative mood

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 09 December 2020 6:39 PM

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has arrived in the Belgian capital, Brussels, for what have been widely billed as "make or break" talks with European Commission boss, Ursula von der Leyen.

Before leaving for Brussels, the PM told the House of Commons that the European Union (EU) is insisting on terms "no prime minister could accept".

The PM also said that the European Union was seeking an "automatic right" to retaliate against the UK if British labor and environmental standards diverged from the EU's.

Johnson also took to social media by tweeting that deal or no deal "the United Kingdom will prosper mightily as an independent nation".

Johnson is scheduled to meet von der Leyen for dinner at 19:00 GMT on Wednesday (December 09) to discuss major divergences in negotiating positions.

The disagreements center on fishing rights, business competition rules and the enforcement of a deal at the end of the Brexit transition period (December 31).

The BBC is quoting a "government" source as claiming that progress at a "political" level during dinner could allow the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, and his UK counterpart, Lord David Frost, to resume their negotiation over technical issues "over the coming days".

It is being reported that both Barnier and Frost will be attending tonight's dinner.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has warned that a "breakthrough" by tomorrow is "unlikely".

The German leader appeared to be preparing the EU for a no-deal by adding: "If there are British conditions which we cannot accept, then we will take the path of no-deal. One thing is absolutely clear - the integrity of the EU's market must be preserved".

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