As the UK prepares to leave the EU next year, the EU has made a commitment to agree and commit to a deal on the post-Brexit relationship by the end of 2020.
Even though this will be a challenge, top Brexit negotiator in Brussels, Michel Barnier says the EU will engage with the UK through the UN and WTO to establish a future deal that will avoid an extension for negotiations beyond next year.
In a magazine interview, Barnier noted, “Agreeing and ratifying a post-Brexit relationship by the end of 2020 “will be immensely challenging, but we will give it our all, even if we won’t be able to achieve everything.”
Following the UK’s official departure, which is just over a month away on 31st January, there will be just 11 months to settle the agreement needed on future relations, including trade.
Boris Johnson has stated that he will not extend these negotiations beyond 2020, and that the UK will no longer be following EU laws of labour, finance, health and safety standards, or the environment.
Although there were some concerns among EU officials over this, negotiators have agreed that the talks about the future UK-EU relationship will remain courteous as the two work towards common goals and make a deal about future relations that are mutually beneficial.
These goals, described by Michel Barnier as “New Year’s resolutions” will focus on working together in global issues, security and tackling terrorism, and economic ties, including a free trade agreement.
He added, “the EU will continue to engage positively with the UK, both bilaterally and in global fora such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and the G20.”
For security, although the UK won’t have access to EU databases any more, Barnier says that “tackling terrorism, cyberattacks, and other attempts to undermine our democracies will require a joint effort” and there should be “unconditional commitment from both sides” to building a security alliance.
In terms of future economic ties, he said “any free-trade agreement must provide for a level playing field on standards, state aid, and tax matters.”
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