Six months to break the deadlock on life after Brexit – The Advocate

Posted: June 13, 2020 at 12:43 am

The U.K.'s decision to formally rule out any extension of the trade negotiations with the European Union means the two sides have just six months left to overcome their differences if they are to reach a deal. Here's a guide to the months ahead:

- June 12: No extension. Britain formally ruled out extending the 11-month transition period that began on Jan. 31. By the year-end, the two sides hope to reach an agreement on their future relationship. But after four rounds of negotiations, the talks are deadlocked, with the two sides at odds on issues such as the level playing field, the role of the European Court of Justice, and fisheries.

- June 15: Crunch talks. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds talks with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen aimed at injecting momentum into the talks.

- June 18-19: European Council meeting of EU leaders.

- June 29-July 3: Back to the negotiating table. EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier and his British counterpart, David Frost, hold talks in Brussels. Like all the in-person meetings planned, it may be canceled because of the virus.

- June 30: Last chance. Final deadline for extending the transition period beyond Dec. 31.

- July 1: Soft deadlines. On the original timetable, the EU and U.K. should by now have reached an accord on fisheries, a precondition for a trade deal, as well as an accord on what access London's financial services firms will have to the single market after the year-end.

- July 6: The chief negotiators and their teams hold specialized discussions.

- July 13: The chief negotiators and their teams hold specialized discussions.

- July 20-24: Fifth round of talks scheduled to take place in London.

- July 27: The chief negotiators and their teams hold specialized discussions.

- Aug. 17-21: Sixth round of talks scheduled to take place in Brussels.

- Sept. 13: Extraordinary meeting of EU leaders in Leipzig, Germany.

- Oct. 15-16: EU leaders meet in Brussels. They will want any agreement to be nailed down by now to allow time in case individual member states have to ratify it -- but if Brexit negotiations have taught us one thing, it is that seemingly immovable deadlines can be moved.

- Dec. 10-11: EU leaders meet in Brussels.

- Dec. 31: End of transition period. If the two sides haven't signed a trade deal by now, Britain will default to trading on World Trade Organization terms. Tariffs and quotas would be imposed, and customs checks would be reintroduced.

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Six months to break the deadlock on life after Brexit - The Advocate

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