Brexit Trade ‘Chaos’ for UK after Talks Flounder Says EU’s Barnier

THE UK is facing a chaotic trade rupture after post-Brexit talks on a new deal flounder, according to the EU’s Michel Barnier.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the UK and the EU have been continuing to maintain negotiations over a future trading relationship, after Britain left the European Union at the end of January.

Boris Johnson has given his negotiator David Frost until the summer to come up with a new trade deal or else the country will move onto WTO trade rules at the start of next year.

The UK remains within the EU’s economic orbit, including its single market for trade in goods and services, until December.

The two sides have until then to work out a new relationship covering trade, security and a host of other issues.

But the signs are not great, as the EU is strongly suggesting that the UK does not seem to be making much of an effort to compromise with its former fellow members.

EU negotiator Michel Barnier said today (April 24) that his British counterparts keep insisting on unrealistic deadlines and demands that could only lead to a major trade rupture which would mount economic losses on both sides on top of those already expected from the Covid-19 crisis.

“I am worried,” Barnier said after what he described as another week of “disappointing” video negotiations between both sides.

He added that the UK had made it clear it would not seek an extension to the transition period beyond December 31, even though it could get one of up to two years.

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Alex Trelinski