EU in Panic after Britains chief trade negotiator said: Britain has no intention” of requesting an extension beyond the 2020 deadline.

Unless Prime Minister Boris Johnson asks for an extension, the UK will fall from its status-quo transition in January 2021, possibly with no deal. Brexit trade talks resumed, however, have failed to produce any significant developments according to officials and diplomats. 

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German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told Augsburger Allgemeine paper: “It is worrying that Britain is moving farther away from our jointly agreed political declaration on crucial issues in the negotiations. “It is not on, because the negotiations are a complete package as it is laid out in the political statement.”

Mr Maas added that neither the UK nor the EU was able to outline a process if all isn’t concluded by 31st December. He said: “The British government is still refusing to extend the deadline. “If it remains that way, we will have to deal with Brexit along with the coronavirus at the end of this year.”

However, David Frost, the UK’s top Brexit official, told him Britain had “no intention” of requesting an extension beyond the 2020 deadline. There will be additional rounds of online discussions on 11th May and 1st June, with a further high-level assembly expected in June to review the progress that has been made. 

Under the conditions of the Withdrawal Agreement, Britain has until the end of June this year to seek an extension. The UK and EU said in a joint statement that”the two sides agreed about the necessity to organise further negotiating rounds to be real, tangible progress in the discussions by June.”

One source told the Daily Telegraph: “We all have to concentrate on the discussions, not planning for an extension which we have no intention of asking for. “This is going to be no simple undertaking. “There might be 100 officials on each side, and every one of them could be dialling in from various locations. “It will be a challenge”. 

In conclusion, UK officials are adamant that an extension past the deadline date of 31st December is still off the table and not an option. It looks like the EU are doing all they can to force an extension due to themselves wasting time in hope the UK is bluffing on leaving the EU in its entirety.

The political declaration noted by Mr Maas is a non binding agreement, which the EU used as a wish list to try and entice the UK into the backstop agreement. That agreement changed somewhat before its enactment leaving the non binding wish list in tatters. With the document not having any legal footing, in essence the non binding political agreement doesn’t need to be adhered to in these negotiations.

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