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Johnson to push for a swift post-Brexit trade deal with the EU

EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers a press conference on the Brexit deal in Brussels, Belgium, 17 October 2019. According to reports, the EU and the British government have reached a deal for Brexit.

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UK prime minister Boris Johnson was expected to tell EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, that Britain will not extend the post-Brexit transition period, in a face-to-face meeting on 8 January.
Britain will exit the Union on 31 January. Johnson’s office said he will seek “a confident and positive future relationship” within the deadline for the implementation period, which ends in December:
“Having waited for over three years to get Brexit done, both British and EU citizens rightly expect negotiations on an ambitious free trade agreement to conclude on time,” his office said, adding that “there will be no extension to the Implementation period, which will end in December 2020 as set out in the Political Declaration”.
Johnson says Britain is seeking a standard free-trade deal, similar to the one between the EU and Canada, and is not interested in alignment with EU rules in return for full market access.
Experts have repeatedly warned that the deadline is too short and that the chances to reach a deal within the given timeframe are slim to none, as security issues and fishing rights would also have to be agreed upon.
“There is no reason to assume that Brussels would row back on tough demands including questions of minimal regulatory compliance and fishing rights. No-deal risk therefore remains very real in 2020”, an expert warned.
Von der Leyen also expressed her concern that it might be necessary “to agree on an extension of the transition period”.
If no agreement is reached by the end of the year, Britain and the European Union will then trade under World Trade Organisation rules, which would mean creating new tariffs.

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