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Von der Leyen, Lagarde say 11 months is not enough for a EU-UK deal

EPA-EFE/JULIEN WARNAND
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (L) and European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde (R) attend a ceremony for the 10th anniversary of the Lisbon Treaty and the start of new EU Institutional Cycle in Brussels, Belgium, 01 December 2019.

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The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, warned that the timeframe for a deal defining the post-Brexit relationship with the EU by the end of 2020 is too short.
Britain leaves the Union on 31 January, and the leaders are expected to agree on their future security and trade relations in the transition phase, during which Britain will keep paying its membership fees.
“The transition time is very, very tight … so it is basically impossible to negotiate all that I have been mentioning, so we will have to prioritize,” she said at the London School of Economics, before meeting British PM Boris Johnson, who insists that Britain will not extend the transition period, and will not seek a deal based on an alignment with EU rules.
Von der Leyen suggested that progress in the talks should be reviewed before summer: “We might want to take a reconsideration of the time frame before July 1”.
She stressed that they will have to agree on everything from climate action to data protection, fisheries to energy, transport to space, financial services to security issues. “We are ready to work day and night to get as much of this done within the time frame we have”, she said.
The President of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, also warned that the given timeframe is too short:
“The UK is due to leave the European Union on 31 January 2020. This means one less uncertainty, which is good news for investors. That said, the biggest challenge is yet to come, namely the issue of reaching a trade deal between London and the EU during the 11‑month transition period”, she said in an interview, and warned that “the economic and financial impact of Brexit will depend on the details of that agreement, if indeed one can be reached, during that short period of time”.
“Our partnership cannot and will not be the same as before. It will not be as close as before because with every choice comes a consequence. With every decision comes a choice”, Von der Leyen concluded.

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