Merkel Tells Europe to Prepare For Brexit Deal Not Materialising

BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 01: German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks on behalf of the federal government during a question and answer session at the Bundestag on July 01, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. Today's session coincides with the first day of Germany's assumption of the rotating presidency of the European Council. …
Getty Images

Progress of Brexit talks between the United Kingdom and the European Union is “to put it cautiously, very limited”, Germany’s Angela Merkel told her national Parliament today.

Germany took over the rotating presidency of the European Council on Wednesday, and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel was asked for an update during a Parliamentary questions and answers session, during which she revealed her advice that European nations should step up preparations for no deal. The United Kingdom left the European Union at the end of January but continues to be subjected to the bloc’s rules and regulations until the end of 2020 unless an extension is agreed — a further betrayal of the Brexit project.

Per wires service Reuters, Dr Merkel told Parliamentarians that while talks were ongoing, their failing remains a possibility. She said: “Progress in talks is, to put it cautiously, very limited… We have agreed with Britain to speed up the talks in order to seal a deal in the autumn that must be ratified by the end of the year,” she said. But Germany and the EU “must be prepared … for the possibility that a deal doesn’t materialise.”

The comments come after claims that Germany was warning European states to prepare for no-deal Brexit in mid-June, with a briefing document stating the positions of London and Brussels are too far apart to reconcile in the time available.

The European Union had continued on its original position of wishing to keep the United Kingdom as close to Brussels as possible, with the fewest possible changes — if Brexit couldn’t be avoided altogether. That approach has collided badly with the British position that if certain tests are not met, then Brexit cannot truly be said to have been done.

Among the areas of contention are fishing rules — Brussels wants to continue to control Britain’s territorial waters, which greatly benefits EU fishermen at the expense of Britons, Brexiteers claim — and trade rules.

June 30th — yesterday — had previously been frequently cited as the final day on which an outline Brexit deal could have been agreed on as it was the deadline for extending talks beyond the end of 2020. Given the date passed with hardly any comment from either side, and went unremarked in the press, it appears to be the case that comments by the UK Government earlier in the month that they would not be taking an extension were in earnest.

.

Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.