THE PRIME Minister has acknowledged Britain must now start preparing for a no-deal end to the Brexit transition period.

Speaking from Downing Street after an EU Summit in Brussells, Boris Johnson said that the bloc was " for whatever reason" unwilling to give the UK a deal on the same terms as Canada.

He said that the EU wanted to retain control of the country's fisheries and legislative freedom, making it difficult for a deal to be reached. 

In a public broadcast from No.10, he said: "It is clear from the summit that after 45 years of membership they are not willing - unless there is some fundamental change of approach - to offer this country the same terms as Canada.

"And so with high hearts and complete confidence we will prepare to embrace the alternative." 

Read more: Downing Street: Brexit talks 'over' and 'no point' in Barnier visit 

He continued: "We left the EU on January 31 and delivered on the largest democratic mandate in the history of this country.

"And since then we have been in a transition period obeying EU law, paying our fees – as a non-voting member - working on the future relationship we hope to enjoy with our friends and partners from January.

"And from the outset we were totally clear that we wanted nothing more complicated than a Canada-style relationship, based on friendship and free trade.

"To judge by the latest EU summit in Brussels that won’t work for our EU partners.

"They want the continued ability to control our legislative freedom, our fisheries, in a way that is obviously unacceptable to an independent country." 

The Prime Minister added that with just 10 weeks left until the end of the transition period, " I have to make a judgment about the likely outcome and to get us all ready."

Read more: Nicola Sturgeon warns Brexit disruption at the end of the year now 'inescapable'

He added: And given that they have refused to negotiate seriously for much of the last few months, and given that this summit appears explicitly to rule out a Canada-style deal, I have concluded that we should get ready for January 1 with arrangements that are more like Australia’s based on simple principles of global free trade.

"And we can do it, because we always knew that there would be change on January 1 whatever type of relationship we had.

"And so now is the time for our businesses to get ready, and for hauliers to get ready, and for travellers to get ready.

"And of course we are willing to discuss the practicalities with our friends where a lot of progress has already been made, by the way, on such issues as social security, and aviation, nuclear cooperation and so on."

Mr Johnson said the country would "prosper mightily as an independent free trading nation, controlling our own borders, our fisheries, and setting our own laws."

He continued:" And in the meantime the government will be focussing on tackling COVID and building back better so that 2021 is a year of recovery and renewal."

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said EU negotiators would still travel to London next week to “intensify” talks despite Boris Johnson’s comments.

She tweeted: “EU-UK talks: the EU continues to work for a deal, but not at any price.

“As planned, our negotiation team will go to London next week to intensify these negotiations.”

The Prime Minister's comments come as Ireland's premier said that Michel Barnier had been given "flexibility" to continue the trade talks. 

Michael Martin said the EU leaders had held “constructive” Brexit discussions in Brussels on Thursday and that Michel Barnier, the bloc's chief negotiaor, had emphasised the need for mutual respect from both sides.

HeraldScotland: Michel Barnier warned the UK cannot 'cherry-pick' during the Brexit negotiations (AP)

Mr Martin said this morning: "We received a very good assessment on the state of the negotiations from our chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

“He emphasised the need for mutual respect on these negotiations and I think he was given the necessary flexibility to continue with the negotiations on behalf of the EU Council to ensure a comprehensive, fair free trade deal between the UK and the European Union.

“That’s how we’d like to see things evolve now and in the future weeks to bring this to a conclusion.”

Ireland’s deputy leader, Leo Varadkar also said this morning that "negotiations are going to continue".

He said: "They should continue. I think it’s in all our interests across Europe and in the UK to secure a free trade agreement.

“There’s always going to be a certain amount of posturing in and around negotiations, but I think it’s in all our interests that we secure an agreement.”

The country’s foreign affairs minister said yesterday that a deal was “in sight” and could be reached by the start of November.

Simon Coveney said he believed an agreement would be made, despite the two sides being “miles apart” on fisheries. 

HeraldScotland: Walking: Christine Jardine

Liberal Democrat Brexit spokeswoman Christine Jardine said the Prime Minsiter's remarks were " just further evidence of [his] incompetence."

She continued: "It has been more than four years since the referendum and yet here we are with a potential no deal and less than three months until the transition period ends.

"At a time when the UK is already facing the biggest crisis in generations as a result of coronavirus, we cannot afford to crash out of the EU without a deal in place or to accept a rushed, bad deal.

"The Government cannot allow people's livelihoods to be put further at risk, when so many are already struggling to get by.

"The Liberal Democrats will continue to hold the Conservative Government to account as Ministers fail to deliver what they promised, and try and ensure we get the best deal available."