Tough words were exchanged on Friday between UK and EU leaders on the question of a post-Brexit trade deal.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that there will be no trade deal unless there is a ‘fundamental change’ in Brussels. He said that there would be no point in further EU talks unless there is a change of mind.

“As far as I can see they’ve abandoned the idea of a free trade deal. There doesn’t seem to be any progress coming from Brussels. So what we’re saying to them is: ‘Only come here, come to us, if there’s some fundamental change of approach.

“Otherwise we’re more than happy to talk about the practicalities that I described, the social security issues, road haulage and so on. But unless there’s a fundamental change of approach, we’re going to go for the Australia solution.

“And we should do it with great confidence, as I said – high hearts, confidence – because we can do it. There was always going to be change on 1 January but it’s becoming clear that the EU don’t want to do the type of Canada deal that we originally asked for.

“And it does seem curious that after 45 years of membership, they can offer Canada terms they wouldn’t offer us.”

Ursula van der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said that the EU continues to work for a deal, but not at any price. “As planned, our negotiation team will go to London next week to intensify these negotiations.”

PHOTO: Boris Johnson Sky News