December 31 marks the end of the Brexit transition period with a no deal outcome looking more and more likely. Negotiations remain gridlocked over fishing, governance and the level playing field.
As the deadline draws nearer, tensions between the UK and the EU has reached boiling point with neither side able to come to an agreement.
Now, the Ministry of Defence has said it is ready to deploy an additional 14,000 military personnel to be on standby for January 1.
Channel 4 News’ Paul McNamara tweeted: “The Military are at the ready for January 1st.
One of the main issues in negotiations has been fishing rights and quotas as the EU has tried to push to maintain its rights to Britain’s fishing waters.
Under the controversial Commons Fisheries Policy (CFP), all member states are given access to EU waters via quotas.
As the UK has a large coastal area, critics have often argued the system is unfair.
During negotiations, France has been the most vocal in its concerns about the final concessions, with the likes of Belgium, the Netherlands and Denmark also raising worries.
France has been furiously opposed to Britain’s plans to take back control of fishing waters.
Earlier today, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen suggested the end of negotiations will be this Sunday where she will decide if a deal is possible.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said an exit with no deal in place was “very, very likely”.
Ms von der Leyen warned EU27 leaders this week a no deal Brexit is the most likely outcome from negotiations.
According to an EU official, she said the “probability of a no deal is higher than of a deal”.
She warned attempting to reach agreements on key sticking points such as the so-called level-playing field and fishing rights would be “difficult”.
Speaking to reporters on a visit to Blyth in Northumberland, the Prime Minister said: “Unfortunately at the moment, as you know, there are two key things where we just can’t seem to make progress.
“And that’s this kind of ratchet clause they’ve got in to keep the UK locked in to whatever they want to do in terms of legislation, which obviously doesn’t work.
“And then there is the whole issue of fish where we’ve got to be able to take back control of our waters. So there is a way to go – we’re hopeful that progress can be made.
“But I’ve got to tell that from where I stand now, here in Blyth, it is looking very, very likely that we will have to go for a solution that I think would be wonderful for the UK, and we’d be able to do exactly what we want from January.
“It obviously would be different from what we’d set out to achieve but I have no doubt this country can get ready and, as I say, come out on World Trade terms.”
Without a deal, EU boats would be banned from fishing in the UK’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
Mr Macron was asked about his stance on Friday, in which the French President said: “I’m not asking to have my cake and eat it, no.”