EU says bloc prepared for negative outcome of Brexit trade talks

Berlin - The European Union is prepared in case trade talks with Britain end badly, European Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said on Saturday in Berlin, continuing the brinkmanship evident from both sides of the negotiations.

Gentiloni, the economy commissioner whose remit includes the customs union, said the bloc would be ready in the case of an "extraordinary negative outcome."
The EU is still working towards agreements and solutions, he said, but time is running short, with only a month left to negotiate a trade deal with enough time for it to be implemented realistically.
Gentiloni underlined that EU negotiators are extremely concerned about the current situation, and said it was up to Britain to restore the bloc's faith.
His comments come as Britain plans a bill to override its EU withdrawal agreement with Brussels. The EU has already called on Britain to stop the plans by September 30, but London has refused.
EU lawmakers are also concerned. The European Parliament's UK Coordination Group and the leaders of the political groups said, "should the UK authorities breach – or threaten to breach – the Withdrawal Agreement, through the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill in its current form or in any other way, the European Parliament will, under no circumstances, ratify any agreement between the EU and the UK," in a statement released on Friday.
Britain formally left the EU in January and entered a transition period until the end of the year, during which it still belongs to the EU single market and customs union. Without a future trade deal, many fear cross-border disruption, duties and delays

Saturday, September 12th 2020

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