Boris Johnson is expected to confirm the new Brexit deal today (Picture: Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street/ REX/ Getty)
Boris Johnson is expected to hold a press conference this morning and reveal the UK has secured a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, after weeks of negotiations.
The Prime Minister underwent 24 hours of intense one-on-one talks with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday, with reports suggesting the two were very close to a deal.
Britain and the EU are believed to have made progress on resolving issues including fishing rights and the ‘level playing field’ measures aimed at preventing unfair competition.
Johnson will share the results of the discussions at an 8am briefing today, it has now been reported. The announcement will come just one week before current trading arrangements expire on December 31.
On Wednesday, a senior EU diplomat described an agreement as ‘imminent’, while a Downing Street source said it was ‘possible but far from certain’ that a deal could be confirmed very soon.
Johnson is then believed to have led a late-night call with Cabinet ministers to update them on the progress. He is also said to have spoken with von der Leyen again this morning.
The PM has been locked in intensive talks over the last 24 hours (Picture: Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing St)
The UK side expected talks over the legal text of the deal, which is reportedly around 2,000 pages long, to continue into the early hours.
But a deal covering the UK-EU trading relationship worth almost £670 billion will come as a relief to business leaders.
If, as expected, it provides for trade free from tariffs and quotas, the economic shock of breaking away from the EU’s single market and customs union will be softened.
The Office for Budget Responsibility had forecast that a no-deal Brexit could wipe 2% off gross domestic product in 2021, which would only add to the damage to jobs and livelihoods already caused by coronavirus.
Britain and the EU are believed to have resolved key issues preventing them from making a deal (Picture: Rex)
If a deal is agreed it would have to be backed by the EU’s 27 member states. In the UK, MPs and peers would be recalled to vote on a deal next week.
The European Parliament has said they will not have time to ratify a deal before January 1, meaning any agreement is likely to be provisional.
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