Boris Johnson to send MPs home for Christmas on Friday – dashing Brexit deal hopes

Boris Johnson to send MPs home for Christmas on Friday – dashing Brexit deal hopes

December 16, 2020

BORIS Johnson will send MPs home for Christmas on Friday – scotching hopes a Brexit trade deal was close.

In a warning shot to Brussels he will not be bounced into a quick talks climbdown, the PM is to give MPs marching orders for the holidays, Commons sources told The Sun.

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It means an emergency Commons recall will be needed if a deal is done by the end of the year.

MPs would have to be recalled on Monday and Tuesday if there is a Brexit trade deal in the next few days, or in the days between Christmas and New Year.

But they won't officially go back to Parliament until January 5, otherwise, and the country will leave on World Trade Organisation terms at the end of the year if there's No Deal.

Commons Leader Jacob Rees Mogg is expected to outline the plans to the Commons tomorrow.

But UK sources said today that both sides were still far apart on a trade deal and not close to cinching an agreement.

One official said: "We’ve made some progress, but we are still very far apart in key areas."

Earlier Ursula Von der Leyen said that she could see a "narrow path" to a deal.

The top Eurocrat was upbeat in a statement to politicians from the bloc, but warned she could not guarantee a deal by the end of the year.

Ms von der Leyen told MEPS that "as things stand I cannot tell you whether there will be a deal or not."

But she said there is now a "path to agreement" and stressed the next few days would be "decisive" as negotiators continued to work to secure an agreement.

The EU Commission President said: "The next days are going to be decisive. I know deadlines have been missed, time and again.

"The clock puts us all in a very difficult situation, not least this parliament."

The potential way forward was "very narrow", Ms von der Leyen warned.

But the two sides had found a way forward on "most issues", she told the EU Parliament.

She suggested there had been movement one of the key areas – the so-called "level playing field" issue which would tie the UK to the EU to prevent unfair competition.

But she warned "difficulties still remain" over the most onerous sticking point – fishing rights in British waters.

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