No deal likely

The COVID Diaries – 155 5th September

With negotiations deadlocked, the chances of Britain having no deal in place with the European Union when the current transition period ends are increasing significantly. The EU parliament has dashed hopes that negotiators could be given more time to avert a no-deal by drawing a red line on an extension to talks.

Bernd Lange, the German MEP who chairs the parliament’s international trade committee, warned “a deal has to be done before 31 October”.

Negotiators are due to meet in London next week for their eighth round of talks, but both sides have suggested the prospect of any serious movement is remote.

This week, the government was warned by freight operators of the potential for border chaos in January, with supermarket supply chains expected to be hit if issues cannot be sorted in four months’ time.