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Get ready to leave without a deal, Boris Johnson tells businesses amid EU deadlock



Businesses will be told to step up their preparations for leaving the Brexit transition period without a deal this week after Boris Johnson threatened to pull the plug on the trade negotiations last week.

The Prime Minister and Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove will hold a conference call with business leaders on Monday to warn them to get ready for leaving the EU ­without a formal trade deal.

It coincides with a new advertising blitz launching on Monday urging companies not to get caught out by the change in trading terms from 1 January, under the ­campaign banner: “Time is running out”.

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Letters to 200,000 businesses will be sent out from HMRC to set out the new customs and tax rules coming into place from the new year.

Britain is heading for a no-deal Brexit after EU talks collapsed Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty)

Time running out

Mr Gove will also convene the XO Cabinet Committee, which oversees the UK’s exit from the EU, five times a week in a bid to ensure the Government is prepared to leave without a deal.

In a statement, Mr Gove said: “Make no mistake, there are changes coming in just 75 days and time is running out for businesses to act.”

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Door still ‘ajar’ to Brexit trade deal despite calling off talks, Michael Gove claims

The Government will hope the move will send a further signal to Brussels that it is prepared to leave the transition period on the same trading terms as Australia, Mongolia and Afghanistan at the end of December.

It comes after Mr Gove accused the EU of not being serious about making compromises to try and secure a trade agreement, although he insisted the door remained “ajar” for talks to resume.  

Michael Gove told Andrew Marr that the door will remain ‘ajar’ (Photo: JEFF OVERS / BBC / AFP)

Michael Gove postures

Mr Gove demanded the EU would have to back down on its red lines if negotiations were to resume in London this week, after Downing Street called off informal talks due to begin today.

Asked if the door was still open to talks, he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show yesterday: “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.”

The British Chamber of Commerce chief Adam Marshall said it was time for both sides to end the “bitter ­pantomime theatre” and urged them to “get back into the room, around the table and secure an outcome”.