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Brexit LIVE: Businesses told make 'final preparations' – PM ready to walk over fisheries

The two sides will continue talks over the weekend with Michel Barnier warning on Friday they had now reached the “moment of truth”. Both he and EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen stated a deal was still possible but that time is now at a critical stage. With the two sides yet to agree on the issue of fisheries, a Government spokeswoman has warned businesses to prepare for trade from January 1 regardless of an agreement.

They said: “Government is investing £705 million in jobs, technology and infrastructure at the border and providing £84 million in grants to boost the customs intermediaries sector.

“With just a few days to go until the UK’s new start on 1 January, it’s vital that businesses and citizens make their final preparations now.”

It is thought the two sides have yet to agree on either quota shares or access in the UK’s waters. 

The EU has so far only offered a small 18 percent quota share return of fish in Britain’s waters and wants an adjustment period to allow European fleets access.

However, Lord David Frost has stated any period would violate the UK’s newfound sovereignty. 

If no agreement is made, both sides will trade on WTO terms and negotiate annual access to UK waters. 

Mr Barnier was also issued a warning by MEPs that he must present an agreement before Parliament before December 21. 

If a deal is not agreed by then, MEPs stated they would not have the time to ratify it before January 1. 

In a potential clash for Brussels, some EU diplomats have stated negotiations may proceed past the deadline as it is the EU Commission which leads talks, not the European Parliament. 

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7.15am update: Get ready for WTO terms 

The UK has warned businesses to prepare for trade on January 1 with or without a deal. 

With time running out for the two sides to agree a deal, a Government spokeswoman said: “Government is investing £705 million in jobs, technology and infrastructure at the border and providing £84 million in grants to boost the customs intermediaries sector.

“With just a few days to go until the UK’s new start on 1 January, it’s vital that businesses and citizens make their final preparations now.”

It is thought the two sides are still in deadlock over the issue of fisheries. 

There has been movement on the level playing field but the level of access and quota share return remain unresolved. 



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