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Brexit Britain will know EU trade deal fate in just 72-hours after Boris’s sharp outburst

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Brexit: Johnson says EU equivalence is ‘not sensible’ for UK

David McAllister said it would become clear whether the European Union and Britain can overcome their differences and reach a free trade agreement by the end of the week. Speaking to Express.co.uk, the German MEP, who is a close ally of Angela Merkel, said he was prepared to let the negotiations go down to the wire if it produced a successful outcome. He insisted the EU Parliament was ready to be “creative and pragmatic” when it comes to rubber-stamping a draft legal text for approval. 

Mr McAllister, who is chair of the EU Parliament’s Brexit committee, told this website: “Both sides know what’s at stake. At the beginning of next week, we will know if there’s an agreement or not.

“Let’s be clear, we’ve already reached crunch time, the next few days are going to be decisive.”

The German MEP, a member of the Chancellor’s Christian Democratic Union, said the chances of a deal hinge on whether Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen can “translate principles into rules”.

EU and UK officials are currently at loggerheads over how to manage future common standards and ensure Britain’s departure from the bloc’s rulebook will not create an unfair advantage for the country’s businesses.

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The Prime Minister this evening said he was unhappy Brussels had introduced new demands late in the negotiations to have the power punish the UK for not complying with future regulations.

EU Brexit chief Michel Barnier has been warned by hardline European capitals not to compromise too far in order to appease Downing Street.

But Mr McAllister suggested MEPs, who can technically vote down the agreement, were ready to give their negotiator room to be flexible in his hunt for a Brexit deal.

“I think the vast majority of colleagues are fully aware that this is a unique situation,” Mr McAllister said.

“We are speaking about one of the most important partnerships the European Union might have ever concluded, covering trade, security and many other areas with a big economic and social impact for the EU.

“A lot is at stake and we have always said we would prefer to have a deal, we want to put our future relations with the United Kingdom on a solid legal basis.”

The German MEP said a good agreement would contain compromises from the EU and UK, “which both sides can accept”.

Depending on when, or if, there is a deal, the European Parliament is considering two possible sessions to vote to ratify the trade pact.

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Mr McAllister said MEPs would have their say on either December 23 or a week later in between Christmas and New Year.

But he also welcomed the European Commission’s move to up the ante with the publication of its no deal Brexit contingency plans.

Eurocrats today unveiled a series of proposals that aim to tie the UK to the bloc’s draconian rules for up to a year as the price for continued access to the Continent for British lorries and planes.

Mr McAllister said: “There is uncertainty and the European Union also has to be well prepared for this outcome. 

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“As I mentioned, our preference is that we get a deal. But, this emergency legislation, these contingency measures would have to be swiftly adopted to ease the most drastic consequences on January 1.”

The EU Parliament’s Brexit leader said he would welcome fresh negotiations between the EU and UK next year if a Brexit deal fails to emerge in the coming weeks.

But he warned both sides would first have to overcome the “many, many consequences” of a no deal Brexit.

Mr McAllister added: “Then it takes two to tango, we’ll have to wait and see what happens if we want to make a new attempt to negotiate something differently. 

“But I would not really speculate about this now because everybody should be concentrating on trying to get it done until Sunday evening.”

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