Thank you for contacting me about leaving the EU without a trade agreement at the end of the transition period.
The UK left the EU on 31 January with a deal. No deal is now an irrelevant concept. The question now is whether we can agree with the EU a deeper trading relationship on the lines of the free trade agreement the EU has with Canada, or whether we have a trading relationship that is based on the 2019 deal, without a free trade agreement and along the lines of Australia’s relationship with the EU.
Negotiations are currently ongoing and both sides are seeking a free trade agreement with no tariffs, quotas, fees or charges across all goods sectors as well as further provisions on services and security cooperation. The Prime Minister has stated that there must be an agreement by the time of the European Council summit on 15 October if it is to be ratified in time for next year.
The Government is working towards achieving a deal and it is up to our EU counterparts to be flexible in their negotiation stance. It is apparent they are quite surprised we will not turn over and placate their every whim. If the EU remains so entrenched, then a no deal scenario will be of their own making.
Notwithstanding, agreement is still possible, and I am hopeful that this can be achieved. If it is clear a deal cannot be reached by 15 October, I believe we should accept this fact and be ready to trade on the terms of the 2019 deal. I should emphasise that the UK is not asking for a special, bespoke, or unique deal in these negotiations. We are looking for a deal like those the EU has previously struck with other friendly countries like Canada.