London CNN  — 

When Boris Johnson first took over as British Prime Minister, many in his Conservative Party couldn’t believe their luck. After years of watching Theresa May’s government rub out red line after red line on Brexit, the man who led the triumphant march to freedom in 2016 was in charge.

Barely a year on, a decent chunk of that optimism has turned to frustration and agitation. Despite the fact Johnson has taken the UK out of the European Union and won a landslide election victory, there is fear the Prime Minister’s desire to end the Brexit story on a personal note of triumph is clouding his thinking.

In recent weeks, talks on a future trade deal between London and Brussels have been uneasy. Both sides are indicating that negotiations are going nowhere and that the other is making unacceptable demands. Both have made clear that unless things change the time to walk away could come soon, meaning a no-deal crash out of the transition period on December 31.

In prepared remarks sent out prior to a speech Johnson is expected to give ahead of round 8 of EU negotiations which start on Tuesday, the Prime Minister said that unless there was an agreement by October 15, the UK would walk away. “There is no sense in thinking about timelines that go beyond that point. If we can’t agree by then, then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on,” said Johnson.

Also on Monday the Financial Times reported that sections of a market bill slated for publication Wednesday, were expected to “eliminate the legal force of parts of the withdrawal agreement,” the framework treaty that sets the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU, according to three sources familiar with the plans. Johnson hailed it as a “great deal” when it was signed last October – but there are aspects of it, relating particularly to Northern Ireland, that have always rankled with Euroskeptics in his party and some have been lobbying recently for him to repudiate it, at least in part.

EU officials were spooked by the story, and Downing Street moved quickly to reassure Brussels. A UK government official told reporters on Monday that the “government is completely committed, as it always has been, to implementing the NI (Northern Ireland) Protocol in good faith.”

Yet some Euroskeptics are concerned that Johnson’s strong words are laying the ground for concessions to get a last-minute deal that he can claim as a great victory, avoiding the economic fallout of a no-deal cliff edge. Others worry that recent ruptures are theater, designed to make any agreement appear such a feat of diplomacy it eclipses any concessions.

Euroskeptics worry that Johnson, who has had a difficult year to date, is laying the ground for concessions.