BRITAIN has threatened to pull the plug on Brexit trade talks this week – and walk away without a deal.
A source close to the negotiations said last night: “One way or another, it’ll all be over by Christmas.”
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Officials claimed the Brussels team was still “struggling” to budge an inch over key sticking points, with just 11 days until the transition period ends.
Both teams are still slugging it out every day in the hope of finding a breakthrough after nine years of tense talks.
Last night, talks were still deadlocked as Michel Barnier and his team continued to make “unacceptable” demands on state subsidies and fishing rights.
Insiders in both camps said a decision must be made before Christmas, due to the European Commission’s self-imposed deadline for getting a deal signed off.
But as talks entered their final hours, the UK delegation said a no deal departure looked “increasingly likely”.
'FINAL ROLL OF THE DICE'
Failure to reach a deal would be a massive hammer blow to the French whose defiant stance would mean their fishing fleets were banned from all UK waters.
Boris Johnson has kicked off a £4billion Operation No Deal to keep supply lines open in the event of a no deal Brexit.
The UK finally breaks off ties with the EU on December 31 when the transition ends and the PM ordered a “final roll of the dice” in a bid to break the deadlock.
But EU officials are said to be still digging in their heels and even now refuse to accept that Britain will become an independent sovereign nation again within days.
A government source said: “We need to get any deal right and based on terms which respect what the British people voted for.
“Unfortunately, the EU is still struggling to get the flexibility needed from its member states and continues to make demands that are incompatible with our independence.
“We cannot accept a deal that doesn’t leave us in control of our own laws or waters.
"We’re continuing to try every possible path to an agreement, but without a substantial shift from the Commission we will be leaving on World Trade Organisation terms on December 31.”
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