MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – 12th December, 2020) The European Union has told member states to refrain from individual post-Brexit trade deals with the United Kingdom after January 1 in a bid to pressure London to continue talks in the case if no deal is reached by then, the Financial Times reported, citing diplomatic sources.

Earlier this week, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said there was a “strong possibility” that the Brexit transition period would end on December 31 with no deal reached.

Citing a diplomatic note, the newspaper said Brussels had urged member-states to refrain from any steps that could encourage the UK to walk away without a deal or refuse to engage in additional talks after December 31.

“Everyone understands that there is no guarantee that the British will come back to the table,” an EU official source familiar with the Brexit discussions said, as quoted in the report.

Another high-ranking EU diplomatic source was quoted as saying that Brussels‘s hopes to achieve a deal were fading.

If the EU and the UK fail to negotiate the terms of their post-Brexit trade relations by the end of the transition period, they will have to trade under standard WTO rules beginning from January 1.

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