September 7, 2020
We are now entering the final phase of our negotiations with the EU.
The EU have been very clear about the timetable for making a deal. We are too.
There needs to be an agreement with our European friends by the time of the European Council on 15 October.
And the Prime Minister today announced that, if we can’t agree by then, that we do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us. And we should both accept that, and move on.
While we believe there is still an agreement that can be done with the EU, we will not compromise on what it means to be an independent and sovereign nation to secure it.
As a Government we’re preparing, at our borders and at our ports, to be ready for leaving the EU.
We will have full control over our laws, our rules, and our fishing waters.
We will have the freedom to do trade deals with every country in the world. And we will prosper mightily as a result.
We will of course always be ready to talk to our EU friends even in these circumstances. Our door will never be closed. And we will trade as friends and partners – but without a free trade agreement.
But there is still an agreement to be had and we will continue to work hard in September to achieve it. It is one based on our reasonable proposal for a standard free trade agreement like the one the EU has agreed with Canada and so many others.
Even at this late stage, if the EU are ready to rethink their current positions and agree this, we will be delighted.
But we cannot and will not compromise on the fundamentals of what it means to be an independent country to get it.
You can read the Prime Minister's statement on EU negotiations in full here.
Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:
“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”