Brexit POLL: Should Boris walk away from trade talks with EU rather than offer compromise?

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights. readers can vote in our poll on whether the Prime Minister should abandon negotiations with the EU on a post-Brexit agreement. And let us know more about what you think by leaving a comment.

Our poll comes after reports Britain is on course to win just 60 percent of its demands in trade talks with Brussels.

Mr Johnson’s Europe adviser David Frost is said to have privately assured Conservative MPs the UK would secure 60 percent of its aims in a post-Brexit trade deal.

A Tory source told The Sunday Times: “His view seems to be that we will get a deal, but he doesn’t seem to be completely thrilled with what it is likely to be.

“When people hear that we are getting 60 percent of what we want, the question on everyone’s lips is: ‘What is the 40 percent we are giving away?'”

Alex De Ruyter, professor and director of the Centre for Brexit Studies at Birmingham City University, warned Britain will have to compromise with the EU. 

He told “It’s tautological to state that if we can’t agree a deal then there will be no deal.

“Both sides know that this is a real risk in the present talks.

“The purpose of these is to find a mutually beneficial situation that is better for both sides than no deal.

“Negotiations are exactly that – they involve give and take on both sides and you should never expect to achieve all of your objectives.

“If I started a business with the objective of making £1 million in five years and end up only achieving 60 percent of that then I would be pretty happy.

“Of course, we don’t know which 60 percent Frost expects or hopes to achieve, so there is uncertainty here.”

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Prof De Ruyter warned a no-deal scenario “would be a silly place to end up”.

He added that the UK achieving 60 percent of objectives would be a “satisfactory outcome” for both sides.

He said: “I am sure that the UK Government is genuine is pushing very hard for a deal that meets all its objectives.

“However, I would suggest 60 percent is a lot better than zero – you only walk away from a deal if the deal is worse than having no agreement at all.

“Since there is clear space for a series of agreements that are mutually beneficial, no deal would seem a silly place to end up.

“If you achieve 60 percent of your objectives then by definition you have got most of what you wanted.

“Obviously you’d love to have 80 percent or 100 percent, but if the UK achieves 60 percent of what it wants and the EU achieves something like 60 percent of what they want then that’s probably a reasonable outcome.

“Of course, there would be a need to revise and build on the agreement in a few years’ time as technology evolves and new governments have slightly different objectives.”

Prof De Ruyer added: “A no-deal Brexit outcome is a very real possibility, particularly given that the UK Government was unwilling to extend the transition period after December 31, so leaving very little time for negotiation.

“If the UK tries to achieve 100 percent of its objectives then there certainly will be no deal because the EU will walk away, and vice versa.

“What both sides profess to be looking for is a reasonable landing zone that is better than no deal for both of them.”

Little progress has been made in trade talks led by Mr Frost on the UK side and the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

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