Great Britain

Barnier refuses to back down after Gove's bombshell statement – EU start no deal planning

The European Commission vowed to “keep its eye on the ball to prepare for any result” ahead of formal talks beginning on Monday. Responding to the Prime Minister’s threat, a spokeswoman said: “There is a mid-year rendezvous in June to assess where we are with negotiations, so this is probably a very fair timeline to take by the UK Prime minister.” “The Commission retains its capacity to prepare for a no deal following the result of those negotiations.

“We will continue to inform people as well as businesses what preparedness measures would be ready in the event of no deal.”

Writing on Twitter, EU negotiator Michel Barnier said: “We take note of the UK’s mandate published today and will discuss our respective positions on Monday.

“We will stick to all our prior commitments in the Political Declaration.

“We want an ambitious and fair partnership with the UK in the future.”

Michel Barnier

Brussels triggers no-deal Brexit planning after Boris Johnson announces trade plans (Image: GETTY)

Mr Johnson’s objectives for the trade tussle with Brussels were set out in a 30-page Whitehall document this morning.

It rules out any prospect of Britain following the bloc’s rules and regulations as part of a “level playing field”.

The document says the Government has “a vision of a relationship based on friendly cooperation between sovereign equals with both parties respecting one another’s legal autonomy and right to manage their own resources as they see fit.”

It adds: “That means that we will not agree to any obligations for our laws to be aligned with the EU’s, or for the EU’s institutions, including the Court of Justice, to have any jurisdiction in the UK.”

Ahead of a UK-EU summit in June, the Government will decide whether to continue talks with the EU or begin preparations for an Australian-style exit from the Brexit transition period.

The document reads: ““The Government will work hard to agree arrangements on these lines.

“However, if it is not possible to negotiate a satisfactory outcome, then the trading relationship with the EU will rest on the 2019 Withdrawal Agreement and will look similar to Australia’s.”

Whitehall officials admit that “frictionless” trade between the UK and EU will end on December 31 when the Brexit transition period concludes.

Britain’s exit from the bloc’s Single Market and Customs Unions means there will inevitably be more customs checks and border security for businesses and travellers.