Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 20 September 2020

Brexit

Brexit dropped from agenda of top EU summit

Both sides are blaming the other for the lack of progress in Brexit talks

Michel Barnier said a deal needed to be agreed by the end of October. AFP
Michel Barnier said a deal needed to be agreed by the end of October. AFP

Germany has dropped plans to discuss Brexit at a major European Union summit between diplomats next week because of a lack of progress in talks, reports say.

EU officials believe that the UK is ready to risk a no-deal exit from the bloc when the transition phase ends on December 31.

A report by The Guardian said the British government would try to blame Brussels if the talks failed.

An EU diplomat told the newspaper: "People underestimate how bleak the mood is in the EU negotiation team.

'We have had the whole summer completely wasted, a cabinet that doesn't understand how the negotiations work, a prime minister who, I think, doesn't understand how the negotiations work – because he is under the wrong impression that he can pull off negotiating at the 11th hour."

Germany currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU council.

Negotiations between Britain and the EU over post-Brexit ties made scant progress last week, with both sides blaming the other for the stalemate.

The EU's top Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, on Wednesday said he might meet his British counterpart in person next week for further negotiations.

Mr Barnier told Reuters in Paris that he had no plans to meet David Frost, the UK's chief negotiator this week.

"But perhaps next week if conditions allow," he added.

Mr Barnier said a deal on the future relationship with the UK needed to be agreed by the end of October.

"If we are to ensure the ratification of a new treaty in a secure way before the end of the year, we need to have an agreement by around October," he said.

Jonathan Slater has the support of the union that represents top civil servants. UK Government
Jonathan Slater has the support of the union that represents top civil servants. UK Government

Updated: August 27, 2020 07:48 PM

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