In a recent interview, the European Commission President encouraged the Prime Minister to rethink his public commitment to not expand the transition phase, under which Britain would stay under Brussels’ rulebook, past the end of the year. Ms Von Der Leyen told French newspaper Les Echos:”It seems to me that on both sides we must ask ourselves if all these negotiations are attainable in this short time.” Brussels has now warned that bureaucratic red tape could hinder the discussions as the bloc tries to confirm its mandate for the talks.
Ms von der Leyen’s chief spokesman today cast further doubt on a quick fire trade deal being struck later refusing to commit to a launch date to the formal discussions.
The EU Commission official warned that the bloc wouldn’t start talks until all staying 27 member nations have signed off on a formal mandate.” I don’t think we mentioned the mandate would emerge on February 1 just,” he said.”We stated our suggestion for a mandate could be issued as soon as the United Kingdom had left the EU which I don’t have a specific date.”
The Commission and European Council have scheduled a series of secret meetings between January 8 and January 29 in order to hammer out the details of the mandate.”To be able to establish trade discussions, the EU requires a proper mandate and this formal mandate has to be approved by the Council,” the spokesman added.”We aren’t there yet.”
He explained:”For decades there has been a constant stream of relentless negativity coming out of Brussels. Always presenting problems however not solutions.”One thing is now clear – we’re leaving the European Union. If the EU wants to make trade talks hard then it’ll hurt them and their people”.”Time to place economics above politics and get a positive deal in great time that works for everyone.”
The Brussels bureaucrat is forecast to be”very clear on the challenges” that both sides face in having a brand new deal execute in time for 2021.”I am convinced she’ll discuss with the Prime Minister how to conquer these challenges and make sure we come out with a favorable agreement at the end of the year.”
Ms von der Leyen will be flanked by Michel Barnier, her chief negotiator, in what’s going to be the first visit to Downing Street with a Commission president since Theresa May hosted Jean-Claude Juncker in May 2017.
That assembly was considered disastrous for Brexit, with all the then prime minister called”anxious” and”tormented” at a leaked accounts of the gathering.
But Mr Johnson is hoping to get far more successful talks with”love bombing” that the EU, and seeking to avoid using the word Brexit following Britain renders the bloc on January 31. In addition, he expects that running trade negotiations in parallel with the US will pile up the pressure onto Brussels to match his demanding schedule.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman said:”After we have abandoned the EU on January 31, we will be free to hold trade discussions with nations around the world and not simply concentrate on discussing the future venture with the EU.”
Former Conservative Party Leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith issued a similar warning over the weekend.”We must also recognise that the EU will intentionally drag its feet at the first few months of the year since they need the UK to be made to extend the implementation phase in the end of 2020, providing the EU billions more contributions to its budget,” in the Sunday Telegraph.”That’s the reason why we should not sit for the EU to prepare; we should underline our sovereign position by focusing on parallel trade discussions with USA.” READ MORE