United Kingdom

Government sources warn a No Deal Brexit is more likely than the public expects 

A No Deal Brexit is more likely than the public expects, a Government source told The Mail on Sunday last night.

'A lot of people assume there is going to be a deal – but they need to realise we may not get there,' said the source.

Face-to-face negotiations resumed yesterday after EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier arrived in London, a week after one of his team tested positive for coronavirus.

Face-to-face negotiations resumed yesterday after EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier (pictured) arrived in London, a week after one of his team tested positive for coronavirus

It is understood that 'significant gaps' remain on several issues including fishing, with the British team keen to stress it will not 'sell out' Britain's sovereignty to secure a deal.

Last week it was reported that Mr Barnier told EU member states that Brussels had offered to return between 15 per cent and 18 per cent of fish stocks caught by EU fleets in British waters.

The Government source said: 'These figures are risible, and the EU side know full well that we would never accept this. 

'There seems to be a failure from the European Commission to internalise the scale of change needed as we become an independent nation.'

The Government team has said it will not settle for anything less than a deal that guarantees control over British waters. 

Time is running out to agree a deal that can be ratified by both sides ahead of the January 1 deadline, when the Brexit transition period ends.

A senior Tory MP last night said: 'I think we will win on fishing. The French will budge. 

The Government team has said it will not settle for anything less than a deal that guarantees control over British waters (pictured: Boris Johnson) 

'President Macron is aware that it is only a fraction of his industry. But for us as a party it is important to send the signal that we care about fishing towns.'

Reports emerged last night that the European Commission has started to 'lean on' Mr Barnier to agree a deal.

David Frost, the UK's chief negotiator, has said a trade deal is still possible, while a source close to the negotiations called for 'fresh thinking' from the EU side. 

'They must understand that we are not going to sell out our sovereignty.'

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