Boris Johnson and the top echelons of the European Union agreed on Monday Brexit trade talks require “new momentum” to ensure a deal is agreed on time. But despite the Prime Minister showing the UK negotiating team is ready to work harder for an agreement, Prof John Ryan from Brexit Partners forecast Britain will not give in to demands. Speaking to RT UK, Prof Ryan said: “I don’t think either is actually going to blink first because I’ve always been of the opinion that the Government’s main idea is to go out on WTO rules and that means a no deal Brexit.
“That would call into question one major issue, which would be Northern Ireland. With no agreement, the Withdrawal Agreement loses its effect and so the protocol there won’t be in place and we would have a hard border.
“On the EU side, I don’t think they are going to compromise. They have actually been more hardline.”
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier is believed to have launched an attempt to convince EU member states to tone down their demands but has not succeeded so far.
Prof Ryan continued: “Barnier has tried to get them to lighten their touch a bit but member states and other institutions, like the European Parliament, have been saying, ‘no, we’re going to stick by this.’
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“So at the moment, we are at the point where we’re going to go towards October that we’re going to see some inkling of some compromises maybe.
“But both sides are still dealing with COVID-19, the EU have other issues to deal with in terms of their budgetary talks which are a bit stalled at the moment. It doesn’t look like anyone is going to blink at this stage.”
Mr Johnson on Monday virtually met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Michel Barnier and European Parlament President David Sassoli.
The meeting reviewed the state of the Brexit negotiations so far and appeared to renew the Prime Minister’s optimism about reaching an agreement.
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“The parties agreed nevertheless that new momentum was required,” they added.
But a spokesman for the Institute for Government told Sky News Brussels is aware that it would be difficult to come to a comprehensive agreement by now.
He said: ”I certainly don’t want to see it going on until the Autumn/Winter as I think perhaps in Brussels they would like. I don’t see any point in that so let’s get it done.”
European Council President Charles Michel, who joined Mrs von der Leyen on the call along with European Parliament President David-Maria Sassoli, said a “broad and ambitious agreement” was “in our mutual interest”.