Earlier this week Boris Johnson warned a breakdown in trade talks is now “very, very likely” and set the end of Sunday as a deadline for further progress. The UK is negotiating with the EU in a bid to secure a post-Brexit trade deal but talks have become deadlocked over fishing rights and regulatory alignment.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday Government sources claimed the chances of negotiations breaking down has risen to 80 percent.
One blamed German Chancellor Ms Merkel claiming she is “determined to make Britain crawl across broken glass”.
Mr Johnson and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen are due to speak again on Sunday.
Whilst talks could in theory continue until Christmas the UK is insisting the EU makes concessions now if it wants a deal.
Britain formally left the EU at the end of January but remains in a Brexit transition period until the end of the year.
During this time the UK continues to be part of the European single market meaning it can trade without tariffs.
However it also has to pay into the EU budget and continue implementing many regulations made in Brussels.
Speaking to the Mail a Government source warned Britain is on the verge of a no deal.
They said: “As things stand, the offer on the table from the EU remains unacceptable.
“The Prime Minister will leave no stone unturned in this process, but he is absolutely clear: any agreement must be fair and respect the fundamental position that the UK will be a sovereign nation in three weeks’ time.
“If they want a deal, it has to be now.”
If talks breakdown the UK and EU will trade on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms from January 1.
This means significant tariffs will be placed on goods being brought and sold between the two blocs.
Mr Johnson has taken personal charge of the UK’s no-deal preparations via a new Whitehall “super-committee”.
This will work with an existing no deal preparation group managed by Michael Gove.
According to the Mail senior Tory donors have been urging Mr Johnson not to accept any extension to the transition period.
One source commented: “The worst thing in the world would be an extension.
“Most donors would say no to that. People just want to get out.
“They think we voted to leave the EU, and that Boris got his 80-seat majority because of leaving the EU.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has argued a no deal Brexit would be “a complete failure of statecraft”.
He tweeted: “There’s no point dressing it up as an Australian deal.
“It’s no deal and that would be a complete failure of statecraft.
“Boris Johnson promised a deal. He needs to get on and deliver it.”