Minggu, 13 Desember 2020

Brexit talks pushed beyond deadline in bid to avoid no-deal scenario - ABC News

Crunch Brexit talks between Britain and the European Union will continue beyond Sunday's deadline in a last-ditch attempt to avoid a dreaded no-deal exit when the UK officially leaves on January 1.

After a phone call on Sunday morning, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said it had been agreed that negotiators would go "the extra mile" in the next few days to reach a trade deal agreement.

Both had said on Friday that a "no-deal" was now the most likely outcome, but with negotiations still underway on Sunday, the supposed final deadline, it was confirmed talks would continue.

"Despite the exhaustion after almost a year of negotiations, despite the fact that deadlines have been missed over and over, we think it is responsible at this point to go the extra mile," Ms von der Leyen and Mr Johnson said in a joint statement.

The United Kingdom quit the EU in January this year but remains an informal member until December 31 when it will finally leave the union's orbit after 48 years.

A Brexit without a trade deal would damage the economies of Europe, send shockwaves through financial markets, clog borders between Europe and the UK and cause chaos through the delicate supply chains across Europe and beyond.

"Every opportunity to reach a deal is highly welcome," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Berlin.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said that talks continuing was a good signal, and that a deal was still possible despite being very difficult.

"Time to hold our nerve and allow the negotiators to inch progress forward — even at this late stage. Joint statement on Brexit negotiations is a good signal. A deal clearly very difficult, but possible," Mr Coveney posted on Twitter.

'Where there's life, there's hope'

The two sides have struggled to agree on fishing rights in British waters and EU demands that Britain face consequences if in the future it diverges from the union's rules for fair competition — what it calls a level playing field.

Mr Johnson said that the UK would not be walking away from the trade talks, but warned people to prepare for a no-deal Brexit on December 31.

"I'm afraid we're still very far apart on some key things, but where there is life there's hope, we're going to keep talking to see what we can do, the UK certainly won't be walking away from the talks," he said.


Mr Johnson added that a deal was there to be done if the EU wanted one, repeating his offer to speak to other EU leaders.

He said an exit without a trade deal was still the most likely outcome.

Australia does not have a free trade deal with the 27-nation EU but does do business with the bloc, albeit to a lesser degree than the UK, mainly due to geography.


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2020-12-13 13:18:00Z

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