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No trade deal still likely state of affairs: UK PM

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has repeated to his top ministers that the most likely outcome of post-Brexit trade talks with the European Union is no deal but his team will still try to reach agreement, his spokesman says.

During an update for his cabinet team, Johnson “re-emphasised the desire to reach a free trade agreement but not at any cost and reiterated any agreement must respect the independence and sovereignty of the UK,” the spokesman said.

“The prime minister made clear that not being able to reach an agreement and ending the transition period on Australia-style terms remained the most likely outcome but committed to continuing to negotiate on the remaining areas of disagreement.”

Australia does not have a trade agreement with the EU.

Germany’s ambassador to the EU said on Tuesday he was still optimistic that a deal could be achieved.

“It’s not over yet. There are still a few days ahead of us,” Michael Clauss told a panel discussion held by a Brussels think-tank.

“There is still a chance for a deal by the end of the week.”

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