Never mind, ‘most possible’ result in trade talks, says Juncker

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, gives a speech during a session of the European Parliament on 30 January 2019 in Brussels, Belgium.

Thierry Monase | Getty Images

UK and EU negotiators are unlikely to reach a trade deal in the coming months, Jean-Claude Juncker, former chairman of the European Commission, said at an event on Tuesday.

The two negotiating teams on Tuesday began an eighth round of discussions on the new trade arrangement – a necessary step after the UK left the European Union in January and agreed to work towards a trade deal with the bloc that would come into force in January 2021 Happened.

However, trade talks have not made any significant progress so far and there is growing doubt that this will change in the coming weeks.

“The situation is not developing in the best direction possible,” said Jean-Claude Juncker, who led the EU’s executive arm between 2014 and 2019.

“No deal is the most probable and probable and the only result of the negotiations,” Juncker, who often played a key role before the Brexit negotiations, said.

Tensions between the two sides of the English Channel have increased in recent times, with reports that the UK government is preparing to override parts of the withdrawal agreement – a deal that would lead to its gradual departure and to the transition period during 2020 Allows for

The overflow of parts of that agreement would reduce confidence in trade negotiations; The EU has stated that implementing the withdrawal agreement is a prerequisite for any trade deal.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday, “I believe that the British Government has implemented the withdrawal agreement, which is an obligation under international law and necessary for future partnerships.”

In addition, UK and EU negotiators have been unable to agree on new rules on state aid and fisheries since trade negotiations began earlier this year.

Speaking on Sunday evening, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that if they cannot overcome these differences by 15 October, “I do not foresee that there will be a free trade agreement between us.”

This would mean that from 1 January, EU-UK trade would follow World Trade Organization rules. In practice, this can increase costs for companies on both sides.

According to Junker, the UK government “does not understand that there is no way to be part of the internal market without agreeing to common rules.”


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