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Fri Dec 6, 2019, 11:33 PM

EU distances itself from Johnson's timetable for post-Brexit trade deal

Leaked communique signals caution over PM’s 11-month timeframe for negotiations
If he wins a majority, the prime minister has vowed to take the UK out of the EU on 31 January and agree a trade deal with the bloc within 11 months, an unprecedentedly short time for such a complex negotiation.

Johnson, who has built his election campaign around the misleading slogan “Get Brexit done”, has promised not to extend the 11-month transition period, seen by many as far too short to agree a future relationship with the EU.
The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has said it would be possible to negotiate a basic free-trade deal with the UK in 11 months. Others are more sceptical, with one senior diplomat saying he could not imagine it in his wildest dreams.
The latest EU text also has a reference to “the level playing field”, meaning the UK must respect core EU standards on workers’ rights, state aid, and environmental and consumer protection, to reach a deal ensuring zero tariffs and zero quotas on British goods.


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