July 7, 2020 / 9:07 PM / a month ago

UK would leave the EU on Australia terms if no deal reached, Johnson tells Merkel

FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson attend a news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany August 21, 2019. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is prepared to leave the European Union on the same terms as Australia has with the bloc if it cannot agree on a future trading deal, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Germany’s Angela Merkel in a telephone call on Tuesday.

“On the future relationship, the prime minister underlined the UK’s commitment to working hard to find an early agreement out of the intensified talks process,” a Downing Street spokeswoman said. 

“He also noted that the UK equally would be ready to leave the transition period on Australia terms if an agreement could not in the end be reached.”

Australia does not have a comprehensive trade agreement with the EU. Much of EU-Australia trade follows default World Trade Organisation rules, though specific agreements are in place for certain goods.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Chris Reese

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