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You may well believe that if the Brexit trade talks aren’t going anywhere, it would be better for both parties to them to say so – and prepare fully for No Deal.

However, neither wants to take the blame for doing so.  So neither has so far been willing to move first, and say that the game is up.

Perhaps this will change today, but Boris Johnson knows that he can hang on for a while yet if he is minded to.

For the real deadline for the UK side of the table isn’t this evening, but December 31.

According to some sources, it isn’t even as though Parliament needs by then to pass a Bill ratifying a treaty which proposes a deal (whatever it might be).

Apparently, Johnson could declare a deal agreed on December 31, according to this version of events, and put the agreement to Parliament shortly afterwards.

But unless we are viewing a conjuring trick both from our own Government and the EU, extra time looks unlikely to unlock agreement.

124 comments for: The real deadline for the Brexit trade talks is December 31

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