PUBLISHED: 13:01, Sun, Oct 18, 2020 | UPDATED: 13:06, Sun, Oct 18, 2020
Boris Johnson and his chief negotiator Lord Frost have accused the EU leadership of "abandoning the idea of a free trade deal" before telling the UK it was time to prepare for a no deal Brexit. But EU leaders and officials said the UK Government was to blame for the faltering talks because of their unwillingness to compromise. Meanwhile, business leaders have urged both sides to get back around the table to thrash out a deal.
We hope the EU will change their position
The situation remains tense after Lord Frost told EU negotiator Michel Barnier there was no point coming to London for more talks next week.
But today Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove insisted the door was still "ajar" for post-Brexit trade talks to continue.
Mr Gove accused EU officials of not being serious about making compromises and said they would have to back down if Mr Barnier was to resume negotiations in London.
Asked if the door is still open to talks, he said: "It is ajar. We hope the EU will change their position, we're certainly not saying that if they do change their position we can't talk to them."
Who's to blame for the stalled Brexit trade talks? (Image: PA)
But he said "we are ready if required" to leave without a trade deal, which he admitted would not "be a picnic".
Mr Gove told Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday the chances of getting a deal are "less" than the 66 percent he had previously predicted.
He said: "It's less. I can't be precise, but one of the reasons why it's less is the position that's been taken in the last couple of weeks by European Union leaders."
He said the EU had refused to work on a detailed legal draft text during negotiations and of not being "willing to intensify the talks" while making unacceptable demands on access to British fishing waters.
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