Daily Management Review

Trade Talk Deadline With UK May Need Extension, Says EU Commission President von der Leyen


Trade Talk Deadline With UK May Need Extension, Says EU Commission President von der Leyen
In an interview to the French daily Les Echos which was published on Friday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that there could be a possibility of extending of the deadline by the European Union in relation to the negotiations of the new trade relationship with the United Kingdom after the exit of Britain form the EU.
It is important for both the parties – the UK and the EU, to seriously consider whether the available time frame- which is about a year, till the end of next year, for concluding trade related negotiations would be enough to come to an agreement on the new trade deal as well a number of other issues, Von der Leyen said.
"It would be reasonable to evaluate the situation mid-year and then, if necessary, agree on extending the transition period," she told the paper.
According to the UK government, it wants to come to a definitive trade agreement and on other issues related to trade and business with the EU within December 2020. This deadline has been set by the UK itself. However analysts feel that such as hard date risks the country facing the prospect of another Brexit cliff-edge and would put pressure on the EU to hurry through with the trade agreement.
"That worries me a lot, because time is extremely short for the mass of issues that have to be negotiated", said von der Leyen about the departure deadline from the EU as set by the UK, currently set as Dec. 31, 2020, in separate comments made to German magazine Der Spiegel.
The two parties need to discuss and come to agreement on a host of issues other than a trade deal such as education, transport, fisheries and other issues and the time frame set for completion of all of these issues by the UK is "extremely short", she had said earlier this month.
"Both sides are now striving for close cooperation," Von der Leyen told Der Spiegel that in relation to issues about security and defence that both the sides need to also discuss about even though not in great details right at this moment.