Brexit LIVE: Boris Johnson issues checkmate warning to EU over deal – ‘Time is up’

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The Prime Minister remains confident a deal can be secured with talks entering their final week as civil servants start to draft EU relationship legislation. With the transition period due to end on December 31st, a deal is yet to be struck between UK and EU negotiators as fishing, governance and the level playing field remain significant stumbling blocks.

Whitehall officials are confident a deal can be secured by November 30th so draft legislation can be passed.

But the EU is remaining more cautious with any deal having to be ratified by the 27 member states before the end of December. 

Whitehall sources told Express.co.uk Boris Johnson was “optimistic” on a deal but stressed any deal “needs to strictly be” in the UK’s interests.  

One told Express.co.uk: “This week is the turning point in the talks, time is running out.

“It’s essentially a checkmate, we are laying down our requests and are not backing down.”

Talks will begin virtually today after a member of Michel Barnier’s team tested positive for COVID-19 last time and could be face to face in London as early as Thursday. 

As Express.co.uk exclusively revealed on Saturday, it is hoped draft legislation could be debated before the Commons as early as next week. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak told BBC Andrew Marr yesterday the UK should not be going for a Brexit deal “at any price”,

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, meanwhile, indicated that there had been “better progress” towards reaching an agreement.

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8am update: IFS expresses ‘uncertainty’ over Brexit deal 

Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), said there was still much uncertainty about both the long and short-term impacts of a Brexit deal.

“Even the best deal we could get would have been counted as one of the hardest imaginable Brexits three or four years ago when we started to look at this,” he told the Andrew Marr show, referring to economic modelling done by the IFS.

“That sort of deal will result, at best, in the economy growing less quickly than it otherwise would have done.

“It is worth saying that, especially in the context of coronavirus, there’s just such uncertainty about what the impact is going to be, and particularly the short-term impact.”

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