The EU and the UK Skip the Deadline of Negotiations
Ursula Von der Leyen, the EC president, stated that the European Union and the United Kingdom would continue to negotiate their future commercial relationship after Brexit. She confirmed that they had ordered teams to continue the negotiations.
Both leaders had given each other until this Sunday to decide on the future of the negotiations.
Von der Leyen concluded that despite the exhaustion after almost a year of negotiations and deadlines, they still believe in going the extra mile.
The EC president has stressed that the telephone conversation with Johnson was constructive and useful. During that time they discussed and addressed all unresolved issues. The fundamental problems that remain stranded are fisheries, fair competition between British and European companies, and the dispute resolution mechanism over the possible pact.
Both sides seem pessimistic about reaching an agreement
Johnson stated that they are still very far apart in some key aspects. However, they are going to continue talking to see what they can do. He seemed pessimistic on the upcoming talks, particularly on the commercial side.
Johnson also declared that the United Kingdom could not be locked into the regulatory orbit of the EU. There are severe and complicated problems that currently separate the United Kingdom from the EU. One of which concerns the possibility of ending up trading with Brussels under the World Trade Organization’s rules. It implies that there would be no application of preferences, and there would be quotas and tariffs in trade.
Despite efforts to move closer together, both Von der Leyen and Johnson were pessimistic this week about the chances of reaching an agreement on the business relationship before the end of the year.
The UK has been preparing the ground for a no-deal scenario on the post-Brexit relationship for days. In anticipation of this non-agreement, the British Government published some general lines of the plan they have. Their aim is to mitigate the impact on its inhabitants’ day-to-day life and economic activity.
Besides, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also been open to the possibility of prolonging the Brexit negotiations beyond this Sunday to reach an agreement.
She believes that they must try everything to achieve a result. She added that a measure that finally allows an agreement would be highly applauded.
The British press has spread the idea that the negotiations between Brussels and London were going to fail due to the harshness of their demands. The chancellor has rejected the notion.