Brexit: UK is ‘ready’ to leave, EU prefers a deal

President of the European Council Charles Michel told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday that it is time for the United Kingdom to “put its cards on the table” regarding Brexit.

The planned phone call came one week before the European Council meets to discuss EU-UK relations and “review the state of negotiations on the future EU-UK partnership”.

PM Boris Johnson stated that the UK is “ready” for the transition period to end in December with no deal in place.

One source told AFP that the EU “continue[s] to insist on an accord which would be good for both sides and we urge the United Kingdom to move, but we are sure of nothing”.

Negotiations have been slow, and all options are still on the table, including a no-deal scenario.

If no deal is reached, the UK will have to renegotiate the whole of its relations with the EU, ranging from agreements on import- and export trade to fishing quotas and charges for mobile roaming.

Since 31 January 2020, when the UK officially left the EU, nine rounds of negotiations have passed.

In September, the vice-president for the European Commission called for a special meeting of the EU-UK Joint Committee to address the EU’s “serious concerns” over progress and the UK’s intentions to come to an agreement.

Overall, the three topics that both parties find it hard to agree on are (not having) access to British fishing waters, economic factors like the role of subsidies in fair competition and workplace standards, and on how the final agreement will be enforced.

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Amée Zoutberg
The Brussels Times

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