Prime minister says EU must change its approach to talks if deal to be reached


Boris Johnson has claimed there will be no more trade and security talks unless the EU adopts a “fundamental change of approach”, as he seeks to increase pressure on Brussels to give ground in the negotiations.

In a televised statement on Friday, the prime minister said the country would have to prepare for a no-deal scenario on 1 January, with his spokesman further toughening up the rhetoric later in the day.

“The trade talks are over – the EU have effectively ended them yesterday when they said they did not want to change their negotiating position,” the spokesman said, while stopping short of announcing the UK’s intention to decisively walk away.

Downing Street’s bravado was swiftly undermined in Brussels, where officials and leaders leaving an EU summit said they had no reason to believe the negotiations would not continue.

The olive branch was quickly rebuffed by No 10, with the UK chief negotiator, Lord Frost, telling Michel Barnier on Friday afternoon in a phone call that there was no need to come to London next week.