A post-Brexit trade deal is still possible and the door is “still ajar,” minister Michael Gove has said of stalled talks between Britain and the European Union.
The bloc had not been willing to produce key detailed legal texts or been willing to intensify talks, meaning some of the progress had been squandered, Gove told the BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday.
Gove said: “We hope the EU will change their position and we are certainly not saying if they do change their position we can't talk to them."
Thursday saw the breakdown of talks between the pair, as the EU maintained that Britain would need to give ground.
On Friday, UK prime minister Boris Johnson told Britain to get ready for an “Australian-style” Brexit, signalling that trade talks with the EU were now effectively “over.”
The announcement sparked a fierce backlash from business leaders. Investors continue to expect a deal, however, despite UK and EU leaders’ war of words and significant divisions.
The prime minister said in a televised address on Friday that the UK would opt for a no-deal Brexit unless there was a “fundamental change in approach” from the EU.
“From the outset, we were totally clear that we wanted nothing more complicated than a Canada-style relationship based on friendship and free trade,” Johnson said at the time.
“To judge by the latest EU summit in Brussels, that won’t work for our EU partners.”
The prime minister said he “had to make a judgement” about the likely outcome of negotiations, with just 10 weeks to go until the end of the transition period.
“I’ve concluded that we should get ready for 1 January with arrangements that are more like Australia’s, based on simple principles of free trade,” he said.
European leaders have sent in negotiator Michel Barnier to continue the talks.
French president Emmanuel Macron has also weighed in, saying, “we are ready for a deal, but not at any price.”
Points of contention still lie around fair competition rules, dispute resolution and fisheries.
Watch: What happens if there is no Brexit deal?