"No deal is back on the table": James O'Brien's prediction after latest Brexit update

9 June 2020, 14:44

By Fiona Jones

James O'Brien gives his prediction after the Cabinet reports on its latest Brexit update.

The UK government will inform the EU that it will not seek an extension to the Brexit transition period, according to Cabinet minister Penny Mordaunt.

She told the House of Commons that she and Michael Gove will "emphasise" this in the fifth round of negotiation talks on Friday.

Ms Mordaunt also told MPs that the fourth round of Brexit talks were "constructive" - a starkly opposing view to EU negotiator Michel Barnier - but acknowledged there was "no movement on the most difficult areas where differences of principle are at their most acute", including fisheries, governance arrangements and the "level playing field" arrangements.

James commented on Sunday's Daily Express headline: 'Boris wants to fix unfair Brexit deal.'

James said, "He negotiated it and signed it and campaigned entirely off the back of it at the last general election and now he wants to fix it."

LBC's political editor Theo Usherwood explained the Prime Minister cannot "fix it" because he has already signed it.

James O'Brien thinks there could be no Brexit or no deal
James O'Brien thinks there could be no Brexit or no deal. Picture: LBC

"When Theresa May left office all predictions were sent back to the drawing board, but my earliest prediction of all, that I couldn't see this ending with no deal or no Brexit...I think that's back on the table, isn't it?" James said.

Theo clarified, "We're going to get the answer if the government holds firm on its pledge not to extend the transition period. Bear in mind they have legislated within the Withdrawal Agreement and it would require the government to go back to the House of Commons to overturn that aspect of the Withdrawal Agreement not to extend the transition period beyond December 31.

"That is politically so tricky for the government that at the moment...somebody is going to have to give way on those three areas. If the European Union is not prepared to back down and the UK is not prepared to back down, then we revert to what was previously known as a no-deal Brexit."

James reflected "The only voices that matter in this ludicrous, ludicrous bear pit that we've now created in our country, the only voices that matter when it comes to applying pressure to the Prime Minister to do the only sensible thing in the context of coronavirus and extend negotiations...the only voices that matter are the voices that would be loosely described as pro-Brexit."

"There's nothing else you can point at and say in concrete terms that's what will happen when you put that penny in that slot, this is what happens. Which is why so much of the debate descended into meaningless talks about fish, blue passports and somehow believing in things being a way of making them come true."