The UK would like to secure a “political understanding” with the European Union at the end of July to give businesses time to prepare for the new relationship. If eurocrats dont change their demands ahead of the autumn, David Frost will walk away from the discussions.
British officials hope that injecting urgency will stop Brussels from dragging its feet into the autumn after it was proposed EU leaders could sign off on a deal as late as October. A source close to the negotiations said: “When we can’t do it in July, it is not clear we’ll be able to take action in September, October or November.”
The strategy could involve a collection of “high-level” encounters involving Boris Johnson and EU leaders to be able to break the deadlock. The Prime Minister is scheduled to hold the first of these talks with the Commission’s Ursula von der Leyen along with the European Council’s Chief Charles Michel in the coming weeks.
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British negotiators are optimistic, the very best level interventions will forge a political agreement that then can be flipped into draft free-trade arrangement shortly after. UK officials want to commence face-to-face talks every month after being forced to negotiate through video conference due to the coronavirus pandemic.
To restrict the risk of an outbreak amongst the groups, little groups of officials could meet for short, intense discussions. Penny Mordaunt now told MPs she is “confident” a deal can be struck between both sides. We must arrive at an agreement to allow it to be executed, ratified, but also for our taxpayers and businesses to prepare.
“That is what’s dictating the program here. That’s exactly why we have to have renewed attention. “We are speaking to the EU about a change of format, about how we could increase the speed of negotiations, get the attention where we need it to be, and get a deal done for both of our sakes.”
Ms Mordaunt insisted the nation wouldn’t be “barrelling off a cliff advantage” if the Government decided to walk away from discussions. She said companies would be given time to prepare to do business with the EU on world trade provisions.