Blog: UPDATE 1-EU chief executive says chances for Brexit deal fading every day – Successful Farming

(Adds detail, quote)

By Gabriela Baczynska

BRUSSELS, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Every passing day reduces
chances for sealing a new trade deal with Britain, the European
Union’s chief executive said on Wednesday, warning London that
there was “very little time” left to put an agreement in place
by the end of the year.

In her major annual policy speech, European Commission
President Ursula von der Leyen dedicated just a few sentences to
Brexit, mostly focusing on the economic recovery from the
coronavirus pandemic as well as digital and climate investments.

“With every day that passes, the chances of a timely
agreement do start to fade,” von der Leyen told the European
Parliament in a “state of the (European) Union” speech styled on
the ones U.S. presidents deliver.

Von der Leyen also stressed both the EU and Britain
negotiated and ratified their Brexit divorce deal and warned
London the agreement “cannot be unilaterally changed,
disregarded or dis-applied”.

“This is a matter of law, trust and good faith… Trust is
the foundation of any strong partnership,” she said.

Von der Leyen said the bloc would “never backtrack” on UK’s
divorce deal, which took three years to negotiate, as it was
protecting the delicate peace on the island of Ireland from the
consequences of Brexit.

Brexit talks are now in crisis yet again as Prime Minister
Boris Johnson put forward a new Internal Market Bill to the UK
parliament that would undercut Britain’s EU divorce treaty.

That increased the risk of the most damaging, no-deal
economic split precipitating at the end of the year when
Britain’s standstill post-Brexit transition ends.

Reuters reported exclusively on Tuesday, however, that
Britain had quietly offered concessions on fisheries in trade
talks with the European Union last week, leaving the bloc
thinking London might still be open to clinching an agreement.
(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Editing by Jan Strupczewski)

© Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Click For Restrictions – http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp

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