Business in the United Kingdom are being asked to put in pace preparations for a no deal Brexit after the transition period ends at the end of the current year as a campaign to this effect says that “time is running out”.
Negotiations on a trade deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union last week ended in a stalemate with both the sides urging the other to make more compromises.
There was no point in continuing discussions, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday, and added that it was now time for British businesses to prepare for a no deal Brexit.
The door for talks on a deal to continue is still open, said senior minister Michael Gove on Sunday.
The government said that this week, a call with business leaders will be held by Johnson and Gove while a letter setting out new customs and tax rules will be sent to 200,000 traders.
“Make no mistake, there are changes coming in just 75 days and time is running out for businesses to act,” Gove said in a statement.
“It is on all of us to put in the work now so that we can embrace the new opportunities available to an independent trading nation with control of its own borders, territorial waters and laws.”
Any lack of preparation on the part of business was to be blamed on the government, said the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).
“Facing the triple threat of a resurgent coronavirus, tightening restrictions and a disorderly end to the transition period, it is little wonder businesses are struggling to prepare,” BCC director-general Adam Marshall said.
“Many firms will be tired of posturing, cliff edges and deadlines, while others are still grappling with fundamental challenges as a result of the pandemic.”
A deal on trade was still possible, he said. “Much may change for business at year-end, but a deal would give firms more clarity so that they can plan and adjust.”
Politicians were urged by more than 70 British business groups who represent o0ver seven million workers to get back to negotiating and somehow work out a deal. “With compromise and tenacity, a deal can be done. Businesses call on leaders on both sides to find a route through,” they said.
Later this week, a visit to London for continuation of talks with British Brexit negotiator David Frost on the deal was scheduled for EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier. Barnier’s spokesman said that the two negotiators spoke over the 6telephone on Monday instead.
The major sticking point in the two parties coming to an agreement on trade is about fishing in waters that has, for four decades, been shared by British and EU trawlers. Fair competition rules and dispute resolution are the other major unresolved issues.
Some of the progress that had been made had been squandered by the bloc, Gove said on Sunday, since there was an unwillingness on the part of the EU to intensify talks or produce detailed legal texts.
“We hope that the EU will change their position; we’re certainly not saying if they do change their position that we can’t talk to them,” he said.
(Adapted from AlJazeera.com)