Prime Minister Boris Johnson has briefed the country calling on everyone to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.
Mr Johnson said that unless there is a “fundamental change in approach” by the European Union, Britain will seek the “Australia solution” – Downing Street language for no-deal – in post-Brexit trade talks.
He said it was “strange” that after 45 years of membership, the EU would not offer the UK the same terms that Canada offers.
Mr Johnson said the EU has shown a reluctance to negotiate in recent months.
The EU heads of state and government met at a summit in Brussels this week to discuss Britain.
Boris Johnson said his verdict was that the UK should prepare for an Australian-style deal in EU trade talks.
Speaking to the broadcaster, he said: “From the start, it was very clear to us that we wanted nothing more complicated than a Canadian-style relationship based on friendship and free trade.
“Judging by the recent EU summit in Brussels, that won’t work for our EU partners.
“They want the continued ability to control our legislative freedom and our fisheries in ways that are totally unacceptable to an independent country.
“And since we only have 10 weeks until the end of the transition period on January 1st, I have to assess the likely outcome and get ready.
“And since they have largely refused to negotiate seriously in recent months, and given the fact that this summit seems to be expressly ruling out an agreement along the lines of the Canadian model, I have come to the conclusion that we are looking forward to 1 January should prepare like Australia, which is based on simple principles of global free trade. “
Nigel Farage tweeted, “A Canadian style deal has always been impossible given the readmission agreement. Boris is now reaching the right solution.”