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Johnson sets deadline for trade deal with EU

London: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he wants a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU by an October 15 deadline, warning that a failure could mean the country would end its membership with the bloc without a deal.

“There needs to be an agreement with our European friends by the time of the European council on October 15 if it’s going to be in force by the end of the year…

“If we can’t agree by then, then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us,” the Prime Minister said in a Downing Street statement.

The UK would then have a trading arrangement with the EU like Australia’s, Xinhua news agency quoted Johnson as saying.

With Brussels also saying a future deal must be drawn up by October to enable it to be ratified by the 27 EU member states, time is running out for both sides.

The UK ended its membership of the EU on January 31, but is sticking with the EU’s rules under a transitional arrangement that is scheduled to end on December 31.

If no deal is in place, the UK and the EU will return to trade under World Trade Organization rules.

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