BOTH the EU and UK have said “more momentum” is needed in the Brexit negotiations after high-level discussions.

Boris Johnson said there was a “very good chance” of reaching a trade deal with the European Union, following his virtual summit meeting with officials today.

However, the SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said the Prime Minister is risking sending the UK into further economic turmoil with no deal, or a bad deal, and suggested the best option for Scotland's relationship with the EU is independence.

The Prime Minister called for an agreement to be reached by the end of July, however, European Council chief Charles Michel said the bloc would not be pressured into buying “a pig in a poke”.

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Brussels still insists the UK must commit to a “level playing field”, preventing the UK straying too far from Brussels’ rules on workers’ rights, environmental protections and state subsidies.

The UK ‘s chief negotiator David Frost has said that the country is only asking for the same deals already agreed between the EU and other countries such as Norway and Australia.

Speaking in Downing Street, Mr Johnson said he believed a deal would be concluded by the end of the year when the current transition arrangements expire “provided we really focus now and get on and do it”.

He suggested that Brussels wanted to drag the talks out in an attempt to push them towards the December 31 deadline.

It was “very clear what the UK needs” from the deal, he said, adding: “We can’t have the involvement of the European Court of Justice in this country, we can’t have a system whereby we continue to have to obey EU law even when we’re out of the EU and we’ve got to get a great deal for our fish.”

“I don’t think we’re actually that far apart, but what we need now is to see a bit of oomph in the negotiations.”

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In a joint statement, the two sides said the earlier rounds of talks led Mr Frost and EU negotiator Michel Barnier had been “constructive” but “new momentum was required”.

The EU side was represented in the summit by Mr Michel, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and European Parliament president David Sassoli. Mr Johnson was joined by Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, Mr Frost and the UK’s ambassador to the EU Sir Tim Barrow.

Mr Michel said a “broad and ambitious” agreement was in both sides’ interests but the level playing field was “essential”.

He added that the EU was “ready to put a tiger in the tank but not to buy a pig in a poke”.

Asked about the possibility of a “cut-off date” on the talks to give businesses some certainty about what to expect from January 1, Mr Johnson said: “What we already said today is the faster we can do this the better, we see no reason why you shouldn’t get that done in July.

“The issue is very clear, we fought an election based on these ideas, the manifesto was very clear.”

He added: “I certainly don’t want to see it going on to the autumn/winter as I think perhaps in Brussels they would like.”

A series of weekly talks with the EU will now take place at official level for five weeks, commencing on June 29, looking at detailed technical issues

Westminster leader for the SNP Ian Blackford said Scotland was being ignored by Downing Street and warned that the Prime Minister was “taking the UK head-first towards a Brexit disaster” which could damage “our economy with the growing risk of a devastating bad deal or no-deal outcome.”

He said the “Tory Brexit obsession” was evidence that “ the only way to protect Scotland’s economic interests and our place at the heart of Europe is to become an independent country. and added: “Yet again, the Prime Minister is putting the narrow Tory Brexit obsession ahead of his responsibilities to protect people’s jobs, businesses and living standards. He must think again, pause his failed talks and agree to the two-year transition period extension on offer.

“Scotland has been completely ignored by Westminster throughout the Brexit process.

“The UK already faces the worst economic crisis in decades. It would be reckless in the extreme for the Tory government to pile a Brexit crisis on top of coronavirus, which would put even more jobs and businesses at risk and cause unemployment to soar.

“The Tories are pushing Scotland and the UK towards a longer, protracted recession, which will cause lasting damage to millions of people’s incomes and livelihoods.”

Ed Davey, acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, added: "Boris Johnson’s arrogant assertion that he wants a Brexit deal rushed through in a few weeks shows he still doesn’t care about the impact a bad deal could have on people’s lives.

“At a time when the UK is facing the deepest recession for 300 years, it is unthinkable that the government would rush through a half-hearted deal, or worse get no deal at all.

“A rushed, bad Brexit deal would hit our NHS, jobs, and the economy. It would impact the most vulnerable the hardest, making life more difficult for those already struggling to make ends meet.

“Johnson should stop with the bravado. Liberal Democrats will continue to call on the government to extend the transition period and commit to ensuring we agree a Brexit deal that leaves no one behind."