“In this context, the European Council called on the Union’s chief negotiator to step up negotiations with a view to ensuring that an agreement can be applied from 1 January 2021.”
The note adds: “The European Council calls on Member States, EU institutions and all stakeholders to step up their work on preparedness and readiness at all levels and for all outcomes, including that of no agreement. ”
Mr Johnson will discuss the week’s negotiations in a ‘follow-up’ videoconference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen later today.
The Prime Minister told his cabinet yesterday that the British had “no fear” of a future without a Brexit trade deal.
But he said a deal is still possible as negotiations reach a crucial stage.
Mr Johnson has indicated that he will be content to step aside and adopt an arrangement similar to Australia’s no-deal relationship with the EU if the bloc sticks to its unconditional demands for unchanged fishing quotas and prosecution of regulatory interference.
Reporting on the Cabinet meeting, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister said Lord Frost was currently in Brussels to find a way through, and he believed there was still an agreement to to do.
“The Prime Minister reiterated that while we want a deal on the right terms, if we can’t get it done, we are ready and willing to move forward with an Australian-style outcome, without fear. ”
And British negotiators blamed Barnier for the recent lack of progress in the negotiations.
A UK government source said: “The EU used the old playbook in which they believed cutting time would work against the UK.
“They assumed the UK would be more willing to compromise with the length of the process, but in fact all of these tactics succeeded in getting us to mid-October with a lot of unnecessary work.
“It’s all the more frustrating as it’s clear that we’ve come a long way since the start of the year. We have approached the negotiations in a constructive and reasonable manner, but the time is now extremely short. We urgently need the EU to step up the pace and inject some creativity. ”
European industry leaders were also pushing for the bloc to step up efforts to give businesses time to prepare for January 1, when the UK leaves the single market and customs union.
A spokesperson for Ceemet, a European employers’ association, said: “Heavyweights in the manufacturing sector are calling on all parties involved to break the current deadlock, avoid a no-deal exit and ensure that our industrial sector has the time to adapt. “