Britain, Brussels agree to continue trade talks beyond Sunday deadline
In an effort to circumvent a chaotic Brexit on Dec.31, leaders of Britain and the European Union concurred on Sunday to continue trade talks past its set Sunday deadline to reach an elusive free trade deal.
EU Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered their negotiators on Sunday to continue albeit Johnson expressed pessimism on prospects of sealing a deal.
Britain officially left the European bloc in January but still remains an informal member of the union until Dec. 31, the set expiration of Britain’s transition period.
Johnson remarked the two parties would try to be as creative as possible but the U.K. could not compromise on key “red lines” so the most likely option was no deal, with trade reverting to the non-concessionary terms set by the World Trade Organization.
On one hand, Britain leaving the EU without a trade agreement would result in economic hazards for Europe, shaken financial markets, and chaotic export of goods across Europe and beyond.
On the other hand, a secured trade deal between the EU and Britain would guarantee the latter zero-tariff and zero-quota access to the former’s single market.