Boris: ‘It is looking very, very likely that we will have to go for an Australia-style solution’

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Boris Johnson speaking in Blyth, Northumberland yesterday (11 December) said about Brexit: “There is a way to go in the negotiations, but it is looking very, very likely that we will have to go for an Australia-style solution.”

The Prime Minister arrived in Blyth on Friday where a major investment in an electric vehicle battery plant will create up to 8,000 jobs.

Mr Johnson visited the ORE Catapult wind turbine testing plant beside the docks in the town, meeting apprentices. The huge turbines will be used in the Dogger Bank wind farm, set to become the world’s largest when it it completed, 120km (74 miles) off the Yorkshire coast in the North Sea.

The SSE project will build 190 turbines standing 260m tall (853ft). They could generate enough power for six million homes, once the second phase is finished.

Last month Mr Johnson announced his 10-point green recovery plan.

During the visit, Mr Johnson warned it is “very, very likely” that the UK will fail to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union.

The Prime Minister said he was “hopeful” that progress could be made in talks but stressed that the two sides remained stuck on fisheries and the so-called level-playing field.

His comments came after European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the negotiating teams’ positions remained apart on “fundamental issues”.

The two leaders have agreed to make a decision on the future of the negotiations by the end of the weekend.

Speaking to reporters in Blyth, Mr Johnson said: “Unfortunately at the moment, as you know, there are two key things where we just can’t seem to make progress.

“And that’s this kind of ratchet clause they’ve got in to keep the UK locked in to whatever they want to do in terms of legislation, which obviously doesn’t work.

“And then there is the whole issue of fish where we’ve got to be able to take back control of our waters. So there is a way to go – we’re hopeful that progress can be made.

“But I’ve got to tell that from where I stand now, here in Blyth, it is looking very, very likely that we will have to go for a solution that I think would be wonderful for the UK, and we’d be able to do exactly what we want from January.

“It obviously would be different from what we’d set out to achieve but I have no doubt this country can get ready and, as I say, come out on World Trade terms.”

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