UK threatens to abandon EU talks if forced to follow rules 'We don’t NEED a ...

THE UK "does not need" to strike a trade deal with the European Union by the end of the year as there are "range of options" Boris Johnson can pursue, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak claimed.

PUBLISHED: 08:55, Mon, Feb 3, 2020 | UPDATED: 09:22, Mon, Feb 3, 2020

Boris Johnson committed to not requesting an extension of the transition period, with the Prime Minister set to say in a speech on Monday he is ready to see trade talks with the EU collapse rather than postponed the end of the process again. And Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak claimed the UK does not actually require to strike an agreement due to the "range of options" available to the government. Speaking to Sky News, Mr Sunak said: "We don’t need to get a deal.

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"We have left, we can trade…there are lots of different ways countries trade with each other.

"We trade with lots of countries around the world, the EU trades with lots of countries around the world."

"They trade with some countries as part of the customs union, they trade with other countries like Canada through a free trade agreement and they trade with countries like Australia through specific little agreements."

Mr Sunak added: "There are a range of options we can pursue."

JUST IN: Boris warns EU there will be NO COMPROMISE in Brexit trade talks

Brexit news UK trade deal EU Rishi Sunak latestRishi Sunak insisted the UK "does not need" to strike a trade agreement with the EU (Image: SKY NEWS)

Rishi Sunak Brexit no trade deal EU UK latest deadlineSunak insisted a deadline will help "focus the minds" of negotiators (Image: SKY NEWS)

Mr Sunak insisted that having a deadline to conclude the negotiations by “focuses the minds” and insisted the Government is committed to delivering on their pledge to have talks concluded in 2020.

He continued: “We don’t want more dither and delay in these processes.

“We think a deadline is good, it focuses minds and concentrates everybody.

“And indeed the political declaration that we’ve signed with the EU commits both sides to conclude those negotiations over the course of this year.

READ MORE: Good riddance to an outdated protectionist racket, says Rupert Lowe

Boris Johnson speech Brexit trade agreement EU latest newsBoris Johnson is expected to say he would rather see talks collapse than extend the

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