European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is concerned over the ability to roll out Brexit in the timeline sought by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Stating that it is not only a question of negotiating an agreement, she was apprehensive whether all negotiations are possible in such a short time. “I am very worried about the short time available,” she said.
She raised her concerns over the length of the timeline in an interview to French newspaper Les Echos.
Following a landslide general election victory by Johnson’s Conservative party on December 12, the United Kingdom is due to leave the European Union (EU) on January 31.
After its exit from the EU, a transitional period will exist until the end of 2020 to allow time for negotiation on future trade links. Negotiations are due to begin in February.
Voicing her concerns, she also raised the possibility of a mid-year review of the transition period with the potential for an extension if one were required, according to British media reports.
Under the EU-UK withdrawal agreement, there is room for the United Kingdom to seek an extension on the transition period of up to two years. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, however, is adamant that there will be no extension.
The Withdrawal Bill is currently working its way through a number of stages in the UK parliament.
Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)