Report: Germany Tells EU to Prepare for No Trade Deal as Eurocrats Stick by Demands

President of European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen talks during a plenary session at the European Parliament in Brussels, on June 17, 2020. (Photo by JOHN THYS / AFP) (Photo by JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images)
JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images

Germany has reportedly warned the European Union to prepare for the UK to leave the bloc’s institutions without a trade deal.

The German government document, seen by Reuters and dated June 15th, says that the London is escalating threats against Brussels and is putting pressure on Brussels to conclude a deal quickly. Positions between the two parties are too far apart, the document said, and negotiators are running out of time.

Bearing in mind that the UK has ruled out extending the transition period, Berlin advised Brussels to prepare for no deal.

The UK officially left the European Union on January 31st, 2020, but remains in a transition period — tied to the bloc’s rules — until December 31st, 2020, until which both parties seek to agree on a future trading partnership. If a deal is not agreed, the UK will trade with the EU on World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

The EU has maintained a hard line that it wants the UK to abide by trading rules — the oft-mentioned “level playing field” — which will stop Brexit Britain becoming a competitor to the EU-27. The bloc also demands continued long-term access to Britain’s lucrative territorial fishing waters. Another sticking point is the European Court of Justice arbitrating on any future deal. The UK has consistently rejected all three conditions, as they contravene the British people’s 2016 mandate to regain sovereignty.

Meanwhile, senior Eurocrats have said that without the UK surrounding to the bloc’s trade demands, there will be no deal.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday that while she was “ready to be creative to find common ground”, there will no deal without “level playing field” pledges on regulations, an agreement on fishing, and trade deal oversight.

The European Parliament has also threatened to veto any EU-UK trade deal that does not include the level playing field and fishing. Dutch MEP Kati Piri said on Wednesday that the parliament’s was unanimous in agreeing that “without a level playing-field and fisheries, there cannot be a trade agreement”.

Meanwhile, the UK, which has been ramping up no-deal preparations, said that it would not “hang around” for a deal.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told LBC radio on Thursday: “We’ve agreed on both sides to energise and intensify the talks, we don’t want to hang around, we’re not going to wait for this to be dragged out into the autumn and the winter.”

The UK has already begun trade talks with the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.


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