The UK will find it “basically impossible” to negotiate all aspects of its future relationship with the European Union by the end of 2020, the head of the European Commission said on December 8, adding that both sides must opt for priorities.
Taking floor at London School of Economics before meeting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Ursula von der Leyen cast doubt on his timetable for an agreement defining the long-term post-Brexit relationship by the end of 2020.
Addressing the London School of Economics before meeting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Ursula von der Leyen cast doubt on his timetable for an agreement defining the long-term post-Brexit relationship by the end of 2020.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson won the decisive election victory that will end three years of political paralysis and take Britain out of the European Union within weeks.
The Article 50 procedure represents a substantial political and economic challenge for the United Kingdom after half a century of integration into the bloc (1973).
“Britain and the United States will now be free to strike a massive new Trade Deal after BREXIT. This deal has the potential to be far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the E.U.,” President Trump wrote on Twitter “Celebrate Boris!”
Earlier this year President Trump has already expressed his wish to seal a trade with U.K., explaining that trade between the two countries “could be four to five times higher.”
A new free-trade deal between the UK and the European Union by the end of 2020 is possible if it does not deviate significantly from current trading terms, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said.
“In terms of negotiating a trade agreement before December 2020, I think that is difficult but not impossible” if Britain ratifies its EU withdrawal agreement by its current Jan. 31 deadline, Varadkar told press in Dublin, Reuters news agency reports.
“The more like the status quo, the quicker it will be,” Varadkar said, but added that ratification by 27 member states may not be possible by the end of 2020, the scheduled end of a proposed Brexit transition phase.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on November 12 that she expected Westminster to approve British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Article 50 deal with the European Union.
The United Kingdom voted by 52%-48% in 2016 to leave the EU, albeit without deciding how it would be done with or without a deal.
The European Union leaders have agreed to extend the UK departure date until 31 January 2020, indirectly acknowledging that the British government will not meet the foreseen deadline on October 31.
The president of the EU Council Donald Tusk assessed the delay as “flextension“, underlining that there is no need to keep membership in the block until the date, but Britons could leave anytime before the date as soon as the Withdrawal Agreement was approved by Westminster.
The new Brexit delay has been announced amid MPs intend to vote on proposals by Prime Minister Boris Johnson for an early general election on December 12.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) and Liberal Democrat’s (Lib/Dem) have also proposed an election a few days earlier – on December 9.
The UK was due to leave the EU on October 31, but PM Johnson was required to request an extension after Westminster failed to agree a Withdrawal Agreement.
Boris Johnson had repeatedly stated the UK would leave on 31 October meeting the deadline regardless the Withdrawal Agreement, but the law – known as the Benn Act – imposes to accept the EU’s extension proposal in absence of the Brexit deal.
The Downing Street source said to the BBC that the government would introduce a bill “almost identical” to the Lib Dem/SNP option on October 29 if Labour voted their proposal down later, and “we will have a pre-Christmas election anyway”.
The European Union has agreed to the UK request for a Brexit deadline extension but set no new exact date, offering to Westminster sufficient time to decide on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposal for a snap election. (Image above: Michel Barnier, archive)
“There was full agreement on the need for an extension,” an EU official said after ambassadors discussed postponing the deadline, less than a week before the agreed date of October 31.
“Work will continue over the weekend” and the envoys will meet again in Brussels on October 28-29, the civil servant said.
According to existing. EU Treaties the UK has an obligation to assign a candidate for a Commissioner to join European Commission next mandate team. In case Britons are still members of the European Union after October 31, they have to align with their legal obligations, and join the team.
Britain will have to propose a candidate for a commissioner in the next European Commission if it still is a member of the European Union after October 31 next head of the institution Ursula von der Leyen said.
The outgoing EU executive of Jean-Claude Juncker is supposed to conclude the five-year term on October 31, although a delay is imminent because the new Commission is still missing commissioners from France, Hungary and Romania.
Under the EU Treaty each of the 28 member-states has to delegate one commissioner.
Ursula von der Leyen reminded the UK about the obligations the EU membership imposes on the UK government.