EU member states are preparing for the failure of negotiations with the UK on a trade agreement that would regulate the relationship between London and Brussels after the end of the Brexit transition period. This was reported by The Daily Telegraph on Monday.
The newspaper’s senior diplomatic source believes that the parties may not agree on a deal before the October 15 deadline because of mutual intransigence, which in turn threatens a “period of chaos” in the future. At that, a diplomat of one of the EU countries did not exclude the possibility of resumption of trade negotiations in the future. “There is no reason to say that due to lack of a deal there can never be negotiations again,” he said.
However, another European source in the newspaper insisted there can be no resumption of trade negotiations with Brussels if there is no agreement later. Instead, the UK would be forced to enter into bilateral agreements with individual member countries to mitigate the economic impact.
The United Kingdom and the EU have previously acknowledged that negotiations on the deal are difficult, with less time left until the end of the year when Brexit’s transition period will no longer be valid. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has in the past set 15 October as the deadline for reaching an agreement (the EU summit is scheduled for that day in Brussels). According to him, it makes no sense to continue negotiations further than mid-October.
Great Britain left the EU on the night of February 1, 2020, after three years of negotiations on conditions of exit. Brussels and London agreed on a transition period until the end of this year, during which the United Kingdom is subject to all European norms. The British side refused to extend the transition period. In the remaining time, London and Brussels should agree on a document on how to build future relations. If the agreement, which will stipulate the new rules of trade, fails to be concluded, the parties will start trading under the WTO rules, applying all trade duties and quotas.