British PM Johnson Says No-Trade Deal Brexit ‘Very Very Likely’

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday that it is likely that the exit of the former from the European Union on January 1 next year will happen without a deal on trade.

The transition period that started after the United Kingdom formally left the EU in January this year during which it was an informal member of the EU comes to an end on Devember 31.

While intention to cover the annual nearly $1 trillion in trade between the UK and the EU by a trade agreement has been expressed by both sides, negotiations have hit a road block and without a trade agreement, the UK will lose the zero-tariff and zero-quota access to the single market of the EU.

“It’s looking very, very likely we’ll have to go for a solution that I think will be wonderful for the UK, we’ll be able to do exactly what we want from January 1, it will obviously be different from what we set out to achieve,” Johnson told reporters.

“If there’s a big offer, a big change in what they’re saying then I must say that I’m yet to see it,” said Johnson, the face of the “leave” campaign in Britain’s 2016 Brexit referendum.

Prospects for a deal had worsened, Von Der Leyen was quoted by an EU official as informing the 27 member states of the EU during a summit in Brussels on Friday.

“The probability of a no deal is higher than of a deal,” the unnamed official was quoted in the media as saying.

Negotiators from both sides has been given time till Sunday by Johnson and von der Leyen to come to an agreement on the sticky issues of fishing rights and the demand of the EU of consequences for Britain in the future if it wanes away from the rules of the EU.

It is ostensibly up to Johnson to choose between taking deal and deciding on its worth or freedom from the EU rules in the future as well as resultant domestic benefits in the case of the no-deal Brexit.

The economies of Europe would be hit by a no-deal Brexit, while it is for sure that the financial markets would be significantly impacted by a no-deal Brexit in addition to clogging up Britain’s border check points with the EU. it is also anticipated that supply chains of companies that are essentially spread across the EU will also be hit.  

The risks of a no-deal Brexit after a five-year period of uncertainty since the Brexit vote in the UK are being evaluated in terms of potential costs by companies and investors as EU leaders joined the voices to warn of the failure of Brexit talks.

There were still fundamental issues unresolved in the trade talks, said Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. “Time is running out and we need to prepare for a hard Brexit,” he said, referring to an abrupt rupture in trade arrangements.

(Adapted from Reuters.com)



Categories: Economy & Finance, Geopolitics, Regulations & Legal, Strategy, Sustainability

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