EU CAVES in desperate bid to block no deal as officials prep for ‘Great British victory’

Brexit: Richard Tice reveals no deal ‘opportunities’

The contact hinted the bloc is willing to make concessions to stop a no-deal exit for the UK. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced yesterday they will be extended negotiations between the UK and EU with the aim being to “go the extra mile” in talks. European officials close to the talks have hinted the talks have been “constructive” with tentative progress made in red line issues such as fishing and governance. But fears of a no-deal Brexit remain as the negotiations inch close to the end of the UK’s transition period for leaving the EU.

An EU contact close to the negotiations has said negotiations between the UK and bloc are continuing as talks remain constructive, according to the BBC.

They said: “We’re carrying on talking because no-deal is a big deal.

“We think it will have a dramatic impact on lives and livelihoods.

“As long as talks aren’t going backwards, it would be irresponsible not to give this a chance.”

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The BBC also reported that while the main points of contention between the UK and EU remain, European officials are ready to concede terms on fishing with a “kick-the-can” compromise.

Governance and level playing field positions however remain up for debate, but a Brussels insider told the corporation the UK will want to claim a “Great British victory” should any concessions be made.

He said: “If that narrative helps get a deal over the line in the UK, then it’s worth it.

“Few Europeans are paying attention to the Brexit process anymore. We don’t care about PR. We care about protecting our interests, deal or no-deal.”

It followed Ms von der Leyen reading out a joint statement from her and Mr Johnson relaying their desire to extend Brexit negotiations.

She read: “Despite the exhaustion after almost a year of negotiations, despite the fact that deadlines have been missed over and over, we think it is responsible at this point to go the extra mile.

“We had a useful phone call this morning. We discussed the major unresolved topics. Our negotiating teams have been working day and night over recent days.

“We have accordingly mandated our negotiators to continue the talks and to see whether an agreement can even at this late stage be reached.”

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Mr Johnson struck a sombre tone on Sunday as he repeated his claims that a no-deal Brexit remained “most likely”.

The Prime Minister also revealed he attempted to open direct talks with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which was rejected.

He said: “The commission is very determined to keep the negotiations the way that they have been done between us, and that’s fine.

“The most likely thing now is of course that we have to get ready for WTO terms, Australia terms, and don’t forget everybody, we’ve made huge preparations for four and a half years … perhaps more intensively in the last couple of years.”

It comes as Charles Michel, European Council chief, attempted to cool tensions between the UK and EU over fears of conflict over British waters.

The UK will reportedly send four Royal Navy gunboats to the border of British waters in the event of a no-deal Brexit, with the power to impound or stop any European vessel.

Mr Michel said: “Just because we’re at the end of a negotiation doesn’t mean we have to lose our temper and go overboard.”

The chief also referred to the “Cod Wars” between the UK and Iceland from the 1950’s to the 1970’s, which saw the two nations fight over fishing grounds.

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