German Politician blames coronavirus, saying a two-year extension is inevitable.

Speculation has risen on what impact COVID-19 may have on the Brexit procedure. German politician and Angela Merkel ally Norbert Rottgen, chairman of the influential Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee, asserted that a two-year extension was inevitable. But Professor David Collins disagrees saying I think that the June deadline holds and the UK should not, nor will they, seek an extension. Such an extension would need to be asked by June 30th “to allow both sides to agree on a new and acceptable partnership for the future” according to the European Commission’s site.

WE’RE NOT GOING TO ENTERTAIN
AN EXTENSION #NOTOEXTENSION

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Prof Collins suggested this outcome was unlikely. He said: “I believe very much that the June deadline holds accurate and the UK should not, nor will they, seek an extension.”Frost will likely walk away only at the very last moment in December when a path forward becomes impossible because with the EU they always seem to be willing to give ground and become more reasonable at the eleventh hour.” Referring to the situation in which Mr Frost and his staff could deem it pointless to carry on negotiations, Prof Collins stated: “The UK would rightly walk away if the EU insisted any regulatory orientation, continued supervision of the ECJ, free movement or continuing monetary contributions.” These will be the very same red-lines which Theresa May outlined all those years ago from the Mansion House address, and they still apply.”

Prof Collins added: “It stays open to both parties to walk off, but this decision should not be seen as actionable in its own right in the sense of constituting an independent breach of international law.”Both sides are free to suggest things to turn them down. Nevertheless, he explained: “In my opinion, the EU’s requirement that the UK keeps regulatory alignment with the EU going forward and on a dynamic basis is completely irrational for the simple reason that they haven’t requested this from any other country in recent FTA discussions, notably either Canada or Japan, both of which are developed OECD countries.

“There might be some proposal that the EU had, in the past, promised they would not make such a requirement in exchange for a Canada-style FTA, in which case there might be an allegation of estoppel, essentially going back on the word. Still, I believe such a claim is unlikely as this ‘offer’ had been produced in an off-handed way.”Writing in The Observer on Sunday, Mr Rottgen explained: “Before the current coronavirus crisis, I think that it would have been possible to have a minimal agreement with the UK on the broad outlines to prevent a wreck, with more detailed negotiations then happening afterwards.

“I can’t imagine now that it can be possible, given that the pandemic has absorbed all the EU nations, Brussels and London — and this can proceed.”Given this situation, I don’t feel that there is a realistic chance any longer, even to achieve the necessary minimum. So you have to extend.”With specific reference to the outbreak, he said: “The pandemic will cause more economic damage than we can now imagine.”To believe that you can then add to this extraordinary situation a very disorderly exit, to me is not imaginable.”I believe everyone will state this is not in the British interest or the interest of any of us.”

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