UK Prime Minister Facing Criticism After Failing to Unlock Post-Brexit Trade Talks With EU

“One year after Boris Johnson promised us an oven-ready deal he has completely failed. The failure to deliver the deal he promised is his and his alone,” Labour Party’s deputy leader Angela Rayner wrote on Twitter.

Rayner was reacting to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office that said that during the face-to-face talks Johnson and Von der de Leyen held last night, both leaders had “acknowledged that the situation remained very difficult and there were still major differences between the two sides.”

They also commonly agreed to set Sunday as the final deadline to make a decision about the future of the trade talks.

The United Kingdom left the European Union on January 31, but as part of the withdrawal agreement, both sides entered an 11-month transition period to negotiate their future commercial relations.

Trade talks have been at an impasse for months over wide divergences over fishing quotas, the level-playing field — the set of common rules and standards designed to prevent businesses in one country from undercutting their rivals in other countries — and governance.

Scottish National Party’s Parliament leader, Ian Blackford also took to Twitter to criticize Johnson and said that a no-deal outcome “would be a massive failure” of his diplomacy and leadership.

“The UK Govt continues to spin about an Australian style deal. For the absence of doubt that means no deal. It means world trade organisation rules, it means damaging tariffs devastating manufacturing, farming and fishing. It would mean come January food & medicine shortages,” Blackford said in another tweet.

Earlier on Wednesday, Opposition leader had slammed Johnson at the Prime Minister’s Question Hour in Parliament over his delay in reaching a deal with the EU.

“The Prime Minister said he had a deal. He didn’t. He said he would protect jobs. He didn’t. He said he would prepare for any outcome. He hasn’t. And whatever may happen in the next few days, there is no doubting that his incompetence has held Britain back. So, would he end this charade, and end that uncertainty, get the deal that he promised and allow the country to move on?” he said.

If no trade deal is secured before the year’s end, the World Trade Organization’s rules will come into effect starting in 2021, including customs tariffs and full border checks for UK goods going across the English Channel.

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