In a joint statement on Sunday, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President said that they discussed the key unresolved issues and decided to go for a fresh round of negotiations in order to reach a historic trade deal, the Guardian reported, citing sources who claimed progress was being made.
Key quotes from the joint statement
“We had a useful phone call this morning. We discussed the major unresolved topics.”
“Our negotiating teams have been working day and night over recent days. And despite the exhaustion after almost a year of negotiations, despite the fact that deadlines have been missed over and over we think it is responsible at this point to go the extra mile.”
“We have accordingly mandated our negotiators to continue the talks and to see whether an agreement can even at this late stage be reached.”
When asked whether a deal is likely, Johnson said that “we’re going to continue to try. We’ll be as creative as we possibly can. But what we can’t do is compromise on that fundamental nature of what Brexit is all about, which is us being able to control our laws, control our fisheries, it’s very, very simple.”
“I think our friends get it, and we remain willing to talk we’ll continue to do so. But in the meantime, let’s get ready for the WTO option and that’s what I told the cabinet,” he added.
Johnson, however, said: “I’m afraid we’re still very far apart on some key things, but where there is life, there’s hope.”
Offering her take on the positive Brexit development, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, “every opportunity to reach a deal is highly welcome.”
The willingness from both sides to keep working on the sticking points in a bid to reach a Brexit trade deal could offer some consolation to the pound traders. But it could be a temporary reprieve as a no-deal Brexit risk continues to loom.
GBP/USD dropped 0.50% on Friday to settle at 1.3226, down over 250 pips on the week.