16:32 GMT29 September 2020
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    The UK Prime Minister's spokesman said on Monday that the UK remained fully committed to implementing the withdrawal deal agreed on with the European Union. The statement followed reports that Prime Minister Johnson had sought to annul certain parts of the deal.

    The UK government will prevent any "damaging" scenario from happening in case London and Brussels are unable to agree upon the details of the withdrawal agreement and Northern Irish protocol, a spokesman for the UK Prime Minister said in a statement on Tuesday.

    The spokesperson underlined that necessity to preserve the principle of Northern Ireland remaining part of the UK's customs territory.

    Johnson's representative went on to say that London and Brussels need to agree upon a mechanism to resolve any future disputes, stressing that even though a deal is still a possibility, the UK wants to see more realism from the European Union.

    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson sent an ultimatum to the European Union this week, saying Brussels now has until 15 October to agree on the terms of a post-Brexit free trade agreement. Fishing quotas, the arbitration of legal disputes, and maintaining a 'level playing field' where common rules and standards would ensure fair trade competition, remain the main sticking points preventing the parties from reaching an agreement.

    The development comes amid reports that Johnson is seeking to override some parts of the withdrawal agreement, signed in January, in areas related to state aid and the Northern Ireland Protocol, designed to prevent a hard border and customs checks.

    The UK pulled out of the EU on 31 January, after which both sides entered into an 11-month transition period to set the rules for their future bilateral trade.

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