The statement made by Penny Mordaunt, the Paymaster General, in the House of Commons on 10 December 2020.
I am grateful for the opportunity to update the House again on the progress of our negotiations with the European Union. The Prime Minister met the Commission President yesterday evening in Brussels. They, along with the chief negotiators, Lord Frost and Michel Barnier, discussed the significant obstacles that still remain in the negotiations. It is clear that we remain far apart on the so-called level playing field, fisheries and governance. However, they agreed that talks should resume in Brussels today to see whether the gaps can be bridged. They also agreed that a decision should be taken by Sunday regarding the future of the talks.
We are working tirelessly to get a deal, but we cannot accept one at any cost. We cannot accept a deal that would compromise the control of our money, laws, borders and fish. The only deal that is possible is one that is compatible with our sovereignty and takes back control of our laws, trade and waters. As the Prime Minister said, whether we agree trading arrangements resembling those of Australia or Canada, the United Kingdom will prosper as an independent nation. We will continue to keep the House updated as we seek to secure a future relationship with our EU friends that respects our status as a sovereign, equal and independent country.