Boris Johnson set to ignore self-imposed deadline for ending Brexit talks

Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street, Westminster, London.

Prime minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street, Westminster, London. - Credit: PA

Boris Johnson is expected to announce a continuation of Brexit negotiations past the October 15 deadline despite telling the EU he was ready to walk away from talks if a deal was not agreed to by then.

According to Bloomberg sources close to the negotiations, Downing Street is planning to continue efforts to reach a Brexit deal beyond October.

The prime minister will decide whether to end talks following an EU summit set to take place on Thursday and Friday.

The insider told Bloomberg that Downing Street officials are still optimistic about a deal as long as both sides enter an intense period of negotiations, known as the "tunnel" phase, in the coming days.

This comes as Johnson is set to discuss the progress of negotiations with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday via teleconference.

Johnson has repeatedly threatened to walk away from talks if a deal was not in vision by October 15. 

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Fishing rights in UK waters and rules pertaining to state aid provisions remain the main road blocks to reaching a deal.

But the prime minister has come under pressure from his own camp following a poll that found that Leave voters oppose exiting the EU without a trade deal.

According to Bloomberg, all 27 EU leaders are expected to say that progress on "key issues of interest to the union" have still not reached a sufficient level "for an agreement to be reached".

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The media outlet warned that a no deal scenario would prove a further set back to the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

It said that leaving without a deal could deliver a near-term shock of around 1.5% of gross domestic product.

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