An “Australian-style” Brexit trade deal suggested by Boris Johnson as an option in talks with the EU is just “code for no-deal”, the bloc’s trade commissioner has said.

Commissioner Phil Hogan noted that there was no existing free trade agreement between Australia and the EU – a fact the prime minister neglected to mention in his speech.

Boris Johnson said the choice in talks was between a trading relationship with the EU “comparable to Canada’s” or “more like Australia’s”.

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But asked about the phrase after a speech at a think-tank in Brussels this week, Mr Hogan, Ireland’s EU commissioner, said: “We do not have an agreement with Australia. I think that’s code for no deal.”

Speaking earlier in the week, Mr Johnson rejected suggestions that the UK would be heading for a no-deal if it failed to secure a trade deal by the end of the transition period.

“In the very unlikely event that we do not succeed, then our trade will have to be based on our existing withdrawal agreement with the EU,” he said. The withdrawal agreement includes no provisions to govern trade in the long term, other than across the border in Ireland.

Mr Johnson went on: “The choice is emphatically not ‘deal or no-deal’. The question is whether we agree a trading relationship with the EU comparable to Canada’s – or more like Australia’s.”

Under the “Australia” scenario, the UK would end up paying tariffs and having quotas imposed on its imports and exports with the EU. 

Under an agreement mirroring the Canadian deal with the EU, a relatively hard Brexit, there would also be tariffs and quotas – though fewer. 

There are currently no tariffs and quotas during the transition period, under which the UK stays aligned to EU rules until the end of 2020. 

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Mr Johnson’s official spokesman denied that an Australian-style arrangement would amount to a “no-deal Brexit”.

Referring to the withdrawal agreement passed last month – which settled a limited number of “divorce” arrangements but did not address the issues of trade, tariffs or quotas which remain to be finalised – the spokesman said: “We have a deal. That conversation is over.”

The spokesman claimed that Australia’s relations with the EU amounted to a “deal” because Canberra has 29 bilateral agreements with Brussels, but was unable to say whether failure on Mr Johnson’s part to negotiate a comparable set of agreements would constitute no-deal.

He declined to say whether any businesses currently undertaking no-deal preparations should abandon them, saying only: “Businesses should prepare for life outside the customs union and single market.”

European Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan (EPA)

Mr Johnson has rejected staying in the single market and customs union long term so that UK can ditch EU regulations and sign trade deals with other countries. 

However, the UK is expected to lose access to the trade deals with other countries it gets from EU membership. 

The main battleground of EU negotiations is expected to be the extent to which the UK signs up to Brussels’ regulations in exchange for market access with its largest neighbour.

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World news in pictures

Shape Created with Sketch.
World news in pictures

1/50 5 February 2020

A man is transferred from the World Dream cruise ship to an ambulance at the Kai Tak cruise terminal in Hong Kong as health officials conduct inspections in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak across China

2/50 4 February 2020

Sri Lanka’s military march with national flags during the 72nd independence day ceremony, in Colombo

3/50 3 February 2020

Refugees and migrants confront riot police during a demonstration outside the Kara Tepe camp, on the island of Lesbos, Greece, February 3, 2020

4/50 2 February 2020

An Iraqi demonstrator sits amid burning tires blocking a road during ongoing anti-government protests in Najaf, Iraq

5/50 1 February 2020

Horses panic as a spot fire runs through the property of Lawrence and Clair Cowie near Canberra, Australia. The couple stayed to defend their home, with the spot fire destroying part of the property. Chief Minister Andrew Barr declared a State of Emergency on Friday, as the Orroral Valley bushfire continues to burn out of control

6/50 31 January 2020

Stefan Kraft soars through the air during a qualifying session for the men’s large hill individual competition at the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup event in Sapporo, Japan

7/50 30 January 2020

Commuters with protective facemasks wait to board a canal boat at Pratunam Pier in Bangkok. A Thai surgical mask factory, producing 10 million masks a month, increased working hours to cope with the rising demand following the outbreak of the coronavirus in China

8/50 29 January 2020

An Israeli soldier fires teargas towards Palestinian protestors during a demonstration in al-Aroub Palestinian refugee camp, between the West Bank towns of Hebron and Bethlehem

9/50 28 January 2020

Firefighters with their face painted with the movie character ‘Joker’, participate in a demonstration against the pension reforms and for better work conditions in Paris

10/50 27 January 2020

Flowers outside Bryant Gymnasium at Lower Merion High School, in Philadelphia, as people pay their respects after basketball legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash

11/50 26 January 2020

US singer-songwriter Lizzo performs onstage during the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles

12/50 25 January 2020

A Lebanese anti-government protester in makeshift protective gear stands under a water jet as security forces move to disperse a demonstration near government headquarters at the Grand Serail, in downtown Beirut

13/50 24 January 2020

A protester holds a sign reading “On the move” mocking the LREM party’s slogan during a demonstration in Paris, as part as a nationwide multi-sector strike against the French government’s pensions overhaul

14/50 23 January 2020

A Chinese police officer wears a protective mask as he stands guard next to an ad before the annual Spring Festival at a Beijing railway station. The number of cases of a deadly new coronavirus rose to over 500 in mainland China as health officials locked down the city of Wuhan in an effort to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like disease which medicals experts have been confirmed can be passed from human to human

15/50 22 January 2020

Visitors wear face masks as they sit inside the Venetian casino hotel resort in Macau, after the former Portuguese colony reported its first case of the new SARS-like virus that originated from Wuhan in China.

16/50 21 January 2020

Marine One helicopter with US President Donald Trump on board arrives for the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland

17/50 20 January 2020

A man walks between burning tires during ongoing anti-government protests in Najaf, Iraq

18/50 19 January 2020

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, (second row, left to right) arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abul Gheit, African Union (AU) Committee Chairman Moussa Faki, European Council President Charles Michel, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pose for a family picture during a Peace summit on Libya at the Chancellery in Berlin

19/50 18 January 2020

Sweden’s Jennie-Lee Burmansson competing in the final run of the Freestyle Skiing Womens Freeski Slopestyle at the Leysin Park in Leysin, during the 2020 Lausanne Winter Youth Olympic Games

20/50 17 January 2020

Firefighters take part in a demonstration to protest against the attacks against them during interventions in Strasbourg. During the New Year’s Eve night in Strasbourg, two firefighters were notably injured following a projectile thrown onto the window of their truck. Last weekend, three firefighters were victims of a stabbing by a person they came to rescue in the outskirts of the city.

21/50 16 January 2020

People enjoy the frozen lake of Houhai in Beijing ahead of the Lunar New Year of the Rat. – The Lunar New Year falls on January 25 this year and marks the Year of the Rat.

22/50 15 January 2020

Taiwanese soldiers operate a CM-11 battle tank during an exercise at a military base in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan

23/50 14 January 2020

A resident who briefly returned home to retrieve belongings carries figurines of Jesus Christ and Mother Mary in Laurel, Batangas province, Philippines. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert level to four out of five, warning that a hazardous eruption could take place anytime, as authorities have evacuated tens of thousands of people from the area

24/50 13 January 2020

Mini’s driver Jakub Przygonski and his co-driver Timo Gottschalk compete in Stage 8 of the Dakar 2020 around Wadi Ad-Dawasir

25/50 12 January 2020

People take photos of a phreatic explosion from the Taal volcano from the town of Tagaytay in Cavite province, southwest of Manila

26/50 11 January 2020

An injured Syrian child cries after being transported to a clinic for treatment following an air strike by pro-regime forces on the nothwestern city of Idlib

27/50 10 January 2020

Vets and volunteers treat koalas at Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, southwest of Adelaide, Australia

28/50 9 January 2020

Devotees follow the carriage transporting the statue of the Black Nazarene during an annual religious procession in its honour in Manila. Thousands of barefoot devotees joined the religious procession hoping to touch a centuries-old icon of Jesus Christ, called the Black Nazarene, which is believed to have miraculous powers

29/50 8 January 2020

People stand near the wreckage after a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 passengers crashed near Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran

30/50 7 January 2020

Mourners gather around a vehicle carrying the coffin of Iranian top general Qasem Soleimani during the final stage of funeral processions, in his hometown Kerman. Soleimani was killed outside Baghdad airport Friday in a drone strike ordered by US President Donald Trump, ratcheting up tensions with Iran which has vowed “severe revenge”. The assassination of the 62-year-old heightened international concern about a new war in the Middle East and rattled financial markets

31/50 6 January 2020

Actor Rose McGowan speaks at a news conference outside a Manhattan courthouse after the arrival of Harvey Weinstein, in New York. Weinstein is on trial on charges of rape and sexual assault, more than two years after a torrent of women began accusing him of misconduct

32/50 5 January 2020

Mourners march behind a vehicle carrying the coffins of slain major general Qassem Soleimani and others as they pay homage in the Iranian city of Mashhad

33/50 4 January 2020

Rescue personnel search for bodies among mud and debris following a landslide caused by heavy rain in West Java, Indonesia

34/50 3 January 2020

A burning vehicle at the Baghdad International Airport is seen following an airstrike in Baghdad, Iraq. The Pentagon said Thursday that the US military has killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, at the direction of President Donald Trump

35/50 2 January 2020

Boats are pulled ashore as smoke and wildfires rage behind Lake Conjola, Australia. Thousands of tourists fled Australia’s wildfire-ravaged eastern coast ahead of worsening conditions as the military started to evacuate people trapped on the shore further south

36/50 1 January 2020

Photographer Matt Roberts reacts to seeing his sister’s house destroyed by a bushfire in Quaama, New South Wales, Australia
A man rides a donkey cart against the last setting sun of 2019 in Lahore, Pakistan

38/50 30 December 2019

A Skycrane drops water on a bushfire in Bundoora, Melbourne, Australia. According to local media reports, thousands of residents and tourists were forced to evacuate in the state of Victoria as soaring temperatures and winds fanned several bushfires around the state

39/50 29 December 2019

A jumper soars through the air during a trial jump at the first stage of the 68th four hills ski jumping tournament in Oberstdorf, Germany

40/50 28 December 2019

Revellers dressed in mock military garb throw eggs as they take part in the “Els Enfarinats” battle in the southeastern Spanish town of Ibi on December 28, 2019. – During this 200-year-old traditional festival participants known as Els Enfarinats (those covered in flour) dress in military clothes and stage a mock coup d’etat as they battle using flour, eggs and firecrackers outside the city town hall as part of the celebrations of the Day of the Innocents, a traditional day in Spain for pulling pranks.

41/50 27 December 2019

The Panamanian-flag cargo ship “Zelek Star” is pictured after being washed up on a beach in the southern Israeli coastal city of Ashdod during a storm

42/50 26 December 2019

Monks wearing solar filter glasses watch the “ring of fire” solar eclipse at the Gaden monastery in a Tibetan colony in Teginkoppa, India

43/50 25 December 2019

A participant in a Darth Vader costume jumps into the water during the 110th edition of the ‘Copa Nadal’ (Christmas Cup) swimming competition in Barcelona’s Port Vell. The traditional 200-meter Christmas swimming race included more than 300 participants on Barcelona’s old harbour

44/50 24 December 2019

Children dressed as Santa Claus during celebrations on Christmas Eve at a school in Amritsar

45/50 23 December 2019

Palestinians wearing Christmas costumes distribute gifts to children seated atop the rubble of a house demolished by Israel, reportedly for not being built with official licensing in the village of al-Khader, west of of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank

46/50 22 December 2019

A journalist gets pepper-sprayed after a heated exchange with police during a rally in Hong Kong to show support for the Uighur minority in China. Hong Kong riot police broke up a solidarity rally for China’s Uighurs — with one officer drawing a pistol — as the city’s pro-democracy movement likened their plight to that of the oppressed Muslim minority

47/50 21 December 2019

Children react as a Bengal tiger licks the glass surrounding its enclosure during the “Animal Christmas Party”, where the youths were treated to a tour of the Malabon Zoo, in Manila

48/50 20 December 2019

In this long exposure photo, the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the Boeing Starliner crew capsule lifts off on an orbital flight test to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral

49/50 19 December 2019

A freediver wearing a Father Christmas outfit poses underwater off the coast of the northern city of Batroun

50/50 18 December 2019

People rally in support of the impeachment of US President Donald Trump in front of the US Capitol, as the House readies for the historic vote

1/50 5 February 2020

A man is transferred from the World Dream cruise ship to an ambulance at the Kai Tak cruise terminal in Hong Kong as health officials conduct inspections in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak across China

2/50 4 February 2020

Sri Lanka’s military march with national flags during the 72nd independence day ceremony, in Colombo

3/50 3 February 2020

Refugees and migrants confront riot police during a demonstration outside the Kara Tepe camp, on the island of Lesbos, Greece, February 3, 2020

4/50 2 February 2020

An Iraqi demonstrator sits amid burning tires blocking a road during ongoing anti-government protests in Najaf, Iraq

5/50 1 February 2020

Horses panic as a spot fire runs through the property of Lawrence and Clair Cowie near Canberra, Australia. The couple stayed to defend their home, with the spot fire destroying part of the property. Chief Minister Andrew Barr declared a State of Emergency on Friday, as the Orroral Valley bushfire continues to burn out of control

6/50 31 January 2020

Stefan Kraft soars through the air during a qualifying session for the men’s large hill individual competition at the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup event in Sapporo, Japan

7/50 30 January 2020

Commuters with protective facemasks wait to board a canal boat at Pratunam Pier in Bangkok. A Thai surgical mask factory, producing 10 million masks a month, increased working hours to cope with the rising demand following the outbreak of the coronavirus in China

8/50 29 January 2020

An Israeli soldier fires teargas towards Palestinian protestors during a demonstration in al-Aroub Palestinian refugee camp, between the West Bank towns of Hebron and Bethlehem

9/50 28 January 2020

Firefighters with their face painted with the movie character ‘Joker’, participate in a demonstration against the pension reforms and for better work conditions in Paris

10/50 27 January 2020

Flowers outside Bryant Gymnasium at Lower Merion High School, in Philadelphia, as people pay their respects after basketball legend Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash

11/50 26 January 2020

US singer-songwriter Lizzo performs onstage during the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles

12/50 25 January 2020

A Lebanese anti-government protester in makeshift protective gear stands under a water jet as security forces move to disperse a demonstration near government headquarters at the Grand Serail, in downtown Beirut

13/50 24 January 2020

A protester holds a sign reading “On the move” mocking the LREM party’s slogan during a demonstration in Paris, as part as a nationwide multi-sector strike against the French government’s pensions overhaul

14/50 23 January 2020

A Chinese police officer wears a protective mask as he stands guard next to an ad before the annual Spring Festival at a Beijing railway station. The number of cases of a deadly new coronavirus rose to over 500 in mainland China as health officials locked down the city of Wuhan in an effort to contain the spread of the pneumonia-like disease which medicals experts have been confirmed can be passed from human to human

15/50 22 January 2020

Visitors wear face masks as they sit inside the Venetian casino hotel resort in Macau, after the former Portuguese colony reported its first case of the new SARS-like virus that originated from Wuhan in China.

16/50 21 January 2020

Marine One helicopter with US President Donald Trump on board arrives for the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland

17/50 20 January 2020

A man walks between burning tires during ongoing anti-government protests in Najaf, Iraq

18/50 19 January 2020

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, (second row, left to right) arab League Secretary General Ahmed Abul Gheit, African Union (AU) Committee Chairman Moussa Faki, European Council President Charles Michel, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pose for a family picture during a Peace summit on Libya at the Chancellery in Berlin

19/50 18 January 2020

Sweden’s Jennie-Lee Burmansson competing in the final run of the Freestyle Skiing Womens Freeski Slopestyle at the Leysin Park in Leysin, during the 2020 Lausanne Winter Youth Olympic Games

20/50 17 January 2020

Firefighters take part in a demonstration to protest against the attacks against them during interventions in Strasbourg. During the New Year’s Eve night in Strasbourg, two firefighters were notably injured following a projectile thrown onto the window of their truck. Last weekend, three firefighters were victims of a stabbing by a person they came to rescue in the outskirts of the city.

21/50 16 January 2020

People enjoy the frozen lake of Houhai in Beijing ahead of the Lunar New Year of the Rat. – The Lunar New Year falls on January 25 this year and marks the Year of the Rat.

22/50 15 January 2020

Taiwanese soldiers operate a CM-11 battle tank during an exercise at a military base in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan

23/50 14 January 2020

A resident who briefly returned home to retrieve belongings carries figurines of Jesus Christ and Mother Mary in Laurel, Batangas province, Philippines. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised the alert level to four out of five, warning that a hazardous eruption could take place anytime, as authorities have evacuated tens of thousands of people from the area

24/50 13 January 2020

Mini’s driver Jakub Przygonski and his co-driver Timo Gottschalk compete in Stage 8 of the Dakar 2020 around Wadi Ad-Dawasir

25/50 12 January 2020

People take photos of a phreatic explosion from the Taal volcano from the town of Tagaytay in Cavite province, southwest of Manila

26/50 11 January 2020

An injured Syrian child cries after being transported to a clinic for treatment following an air strike by pro-regime forces on the nothwestern city of Idlib

27/50 10 January 2020

Vets and volunteers treat koalas at Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, southwest of Adelaide, Australia

28/50 9 January 2020

Devotees follow the carriage transporting the statue of the Black Nazarene during an annual religious procession in its honour in Manila. Thousands of barefoot devotees joined the religious procession hoping to touch a centuries-old icon of Jesus Christ, called the Black Nazarene, which is believed to have miraculous powers

29/50 8 January 2020

People stand near the wreckage after a Ukrainian plane carrying 176 passengers crashed near Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran

30/50 7 January 2020

Mourners gather around a vehicle carrying the coffin of Iranian top general Qasem Soleimani during the final stage of funeral processions, in his hometown Kerman. Soleimani was killed outside Baghdad airport Friday in a drone strike ordered by US President Donald Trump, ratcheting up tensions with Iran which has vowed “severe revenge”. The assassination of the 62-year-old heightened international concern about a new war in the Middle East and rattled financial markets

31/50 6 January 2020

Actor Rose McGowan speaks at a news conference outside a Manhattan courthouse after the arrival of Harvey Weinstein, in New York. Weinstein is on trial on charges of rape and sexual assault, more than two years after a torrent of women began accusing him of misconduct

32/50 5 January 2020

Mourners march behind a vehicle carrying the coffins of slain major general Qassem Soleimani and others as they pay homage in the Iranian city of Mashhad

33/50 4 January 2020

Rescue personnel search for bodies among mud and debris following a landslide caused by heavy rain in West Java, Indonesia

34/50 3 January 2020

A burning vehicle at the Baghdad International Airport is seen following an airstrike in Baghdad, Iraq. The Pentagon said Thursday that the US military has killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, at the direction of President Donald Trump

35/50 2 January 2020

Boats are pulled ashore as smoke and wildfires rage behind Lake Conjola, Australia. Thousands of tourists fled Australia’s wildfire-ravaged eastern coast ahead of worsening conditions as the military started to evacuate people trapped on the shore further south

36/50 1 January 2020

Photographer Matt Roberts reacts to seeing his sister’s house destroyed by a bushfire in Quaama, New South Wales, Australia
A man rides a donkey cart against the last setting sun of 2019 in Lahore, Pakistan

38/50 30 December 2019

A Skycrane drops water on a bushfire in Bundoora, Melbourne, Australia. According to local media reports, thousands of residents and tourists were forced to evacuate in the state of Victoria as soaring temperatures and winds fanned several bushfires around the state

39/50 29 December 2019

A jumper soars through the air during a trial jump at the first stage of the 68th four hills ski jumping tournament in Oberstdorf, Germany

40/50 28 December 2019

Revellers dressed in mock military garb throw eggs as they take part in the “Els Enfarinats” battle in the southeastern Spanish town of Ibi on December 28, 2019. – During this 200-year-old traditional festival participants known as Els Enfarinats (those covered in flour) dress in military clothes and stage a mock coup d’etat as they battle using flour, eggs and firecrackers outside the city town hall as part of the celebrations of the Day of the Innocents, a traditional day in Spain for pulling pranks.

41/50 27 December 2019

The Panamanian-flag cargo ship “Zelek Star” is pictured after being washed up on a beach in the southern Israeli coastal city of Ashdod during a storm

42/50 26 December 2019

Monks wearing solar filter glasses watch the “ring of fire” solar eclipse at the Gaden monastery in a Tibetan colony in Teginkoppa, India

43/50 25 December 2019

A participant in a Darth Vader costume jumps into the water during the 110th edition of the ‘Copa Nadal’ (Christmas Cup) swimming competition in Barcelona’s Port Vell. The traditional 200-meter Christmas swimming race included more than 300 participants on Barcelona’s old harbour

44/50 24 December 2019

Children dressed as Santa Claus during celebrations on Christmas Eve at a school in Amritsar

45/50 23 December 2019

Palestinians wearing Christmas costumes distribute gifts to children seated atop the rubble of a house demolished by Israel, reportedly for not being built with official licensing in the village of al-Khader, west of of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank

46/50 22 December 2019

A journalist gets pepper-sprayed after a heated exchange with police during a rally in Hong Kong to show support for the Uighur minority in China. Hong Kong riot police broke up a solidarity rally for China’s Uighurs — with one officer drawing a pistol — as the city’s pro-democracy movement likened their plight to that of the oppressed Muslim minority

47/50 21 December 2019

Children react as a Bengal tiger licks the glass surrounding its enclosure during the “Animal Christmas Party”, where the youths were treated to a tour of the Malabon Zoo, in Manila

48/50 20 December 2019

In this long exposure photo, the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the Boeing Starliner crew capsule lifts off on an orbital flight test to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral

49/50 19 December 2019

A freediver wearing a Father Christmas outfit poses underwater off the coast of the northern city of Batroun

50/50 18 December 2019

People rally in support of the impeachment of US President Donald Trump in front of the US Capitol, as the House readies for the historic vote

Speaking at the Centre for European Reform on Tuesday Mr Hogan also warned that “the Brexit debate has been a tyranny over British public life for the last three years”. 

But the Irish commissioner said basic decisions had yet to be made by the UK government, such as “What are you Brexiting from and what are you Brexiting to?”. 

He went on to suggest that British people needed to “stay awake” to hold their government to account.