UK sees just 30%-40% chance of Brexit trade deal: The Times

LONDON (Reuters) – Senior officials in British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office see only a 30%-40% chance that there will be a Brexit trade agreement with the European Union due to an impasse over state aid rules, The Times reported.

Britain left the EU on Jan. 31 but talks have so far made little headway on agreeing a new trade deal by the time a status-quo transition arrangement ends in December.

Britain’s desire to use state aid to build up its technology sector means that Johnson’s top ministers are unwilling to budge in negotiations on state aid, The Times said.

“Inside No 10, they now think there is only a 30 to 40 per cent chance that there will be an agreement,” James Forsyth, political editor of The Spectator, wrote in a column. “The sticking point isn’t fish — I’m told that there is a ‘deal to be done’ there — but state aid.”

The UK wants the percentage of fish quotas reserved for UK vessels in British waters to increase from some 25% now to more than 50%, The Times said.

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