PM Johnson says Brexit deal feasible in July

Leaders from the UK and EU agreed on 15 June that talks on their future trading relationship should be stepped up to close a deal, with Boris Johnson suggesting a formal agreement could be reached in July with, “a bit of oomph”.
calendar icon 16 June 2020
clock icon 5 minute read

Britain left the EU on 31 January and its relationship with the bloc is now governed by a transition arrangement that keeps previous rules in place while the two sides negotiate new terms.

Negotiators have made very little progress towards a trade pact, however, and the talks have all but stalled over issues such as fair-competition guarantees and fishing rights.

London confirmed last week that it had no intention of extending the transition period beyond 2020.
Some fear that, with the two sides so far apart and little time left to negotiate, London's decision not to extend may lead to a cliff edge that could compound the economic damage caused by the coronavirus crisis.

One EU diplomat said that, despite plans to speed up talks, major progress was unlikely until after the summer, when London would "scramble to get something done" at the 11th hour, as it did last year to reach a withdrawal agreement.

Jill Rutter, an expert at the UK in a Changing Europe think-tank, told a Brexit panel discussion on Monday that a "very thin and unambitious deal" was likely, but a no-deal scenario couldn't be ruled out.

"I think it would be totally wrong to think that the UK will be so desperate that it will move heaven and earth to avoid no deal," she said.

Read more about this story here.

Britain left the EU on 31 January and its relationship with the bloc is now governed by a transition arrangement that keeps previous rules in place while the two sides negotiate new terms.

Negotiators have made very little progress towards a trade pact, however, and the talks have all but stalled over issues such as fair-competition guarantees and fishing rights.

London confirmed last week that it had no intention of extending the transition period beyond 2020.
Some fear that, with the two sides so far apart and little time left to negotiate, London's decision not to extend may lead to a cliff edge that could compound the economic damage caused by the coronavirus crisis.

One EU diplomat said that, despite plans to speed up talks, major progress was unlikely until after the summer, when London would "scramble to get something done" at the 11th hour, as it did last year to reach a withdrawal agreement.

Jill Rutter, an expert at the UK in a Changing Europe think-tank, told a Brexit panel discussion on Monday that a "very thin and unambitious deal" was likely, but a no-deal scenario couldn't be ruled out.

"I think it would be totally wrong to think that the UK will be so desperate that it will move heaven and earth to avoid no deal," she said.

Read more about this story here.

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