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BRUSSELS, Oct 16 (Reuters) – The European Union is still preparing for more trade talks with Britain next week, an official and a diplomat told Reuters after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday it was now time to prepare for a no-trade deal Brexit.
“He didn’t say they will leave the negotiating table. So it’s all just rhetoric. He didn’t say they won’t keep on talking. So they will,” the diplomat said.
The official added that the EU’s Brexit negotiating team was “already packing for an intense week in London” and added: “On the whole Australia deal/Canada deal revival… it’s just not serious.”
Johnson said earlier on Friday that the EU had refused to negotiate seriously for an agreement on the future relationship between Brussels and London, and that unless the EU changed course there would not be an agreement.
Asked to comment on Johnson’s statement that it was time to prepare for a no-deal scenario, a senior EU diplomat said: “A lot of EU leaders said the same thing last night in the debate.”
He was referring to an EU summit discussion on Thursday at which the 27-nation bloc delivered an ultimatum, calling on London to yield on key sticking points or see a rupture of ties with the bloc from Jan. 1.
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