Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator has told Boris Johnson that a trade deal with the EU could be ready as early as next week.
Lord David Frost is reported to have told the prime minister there would be a “possible landing zone” for an agreement as soon as next Tuesday, the Sun has revealed.
The latest round of Brexit talks has kicked off in haste in Brussels where negotiators are expected to discuss fishing rights in UK waters and “level playing field” provisions.
Tory frontbenchers have stepped up their opposition to a no-deal Brexit with chancellor Rishi Sunak and business minister Alok Sharma reportedly urging Johnson to agree to a compromise. Michael Gove is understood to have warned that a no-deal Brexit could lead to Scotland breaking away.
All three ministers have denied the claims and say they are fully behind the prime minister’s hardline strategy.
But a government insider has told the Sun: “It’s not a secret that the Treasury has always been anti-no deal and Michael Gove has concerns about the Union.”
This comes off the back of news that Johnson could agree to an adjustment period into any final trade agreement with the European Union to provide “breathing space” for businesses.
It also follows reports that the European parliament is preparing for an emergency session over Christmas to ram through any last-minute agreement while the Council is said to be willing to let talks continue until December 10.
There are also reports the Brexit war cabinet could be assembled this weekend, providing a further hint that a deal could be close.
The Sun‘s Harry Cole tweeted: “There hasn’t been a meeting of the Brexit war cabinet ‘XS’ since last month.. there’s not one in the diary for ministers yet this week. Whispers of one for the weekend which will be the first hint of white smoke should that ping into departmental calendars…”
There hasn’t been a meeting of the Brexit war cabinet “XS” since last month.. there’s not one in the diary for ministers yet this week. Whispers of one for the weekend which will be the first hint of white smoke should that ping into departmental calendars…. https://t.co/avRipcjr0b
— Harry Cole (@MrHarryCole) November 16, 2020