The UK Prime Minister is set to tell his counterparts in the European Union that they must agree a Brexit deal in just over five weeks or accept a no-deal exit.

Boris Johnson is due to warn the European trading bloc that “there needs to be an agreement… by the time of the European Council on 15 October if it’s going to be in force by the end of the year”.

“If we can’t agree by then, then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on,” he will add.

His comments, due to be made on September 7, will prove controversial to the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier who has concluded previous talks by giving the UK a deadline of 31 October to secure an agreement. The two sides are set to enter the eighth round of Brexit negotiations on Tuesday.

The UK’s transition into Brexit ends on 31 December 2020, regardless of whether or not a deal has been secured.

“The EU have been very clear about the timetable.  I am too,” Johnson will say. “There is no sense in thinking about timelines that go beyond [October 15]. “

His comments come just days after the EU and UK negotiators met on 1 September to hold an emergency meeting in an attempt to salvage the talks.

“There is still an agreement to be had,” Johnson will add.  “We will continue to work hard in September to achieve it.”

Johnson’s spokesman said last week that the UK’s Brexit negotiators wanted to agree simpler parts of its future trading relationship with the EU to propel forward the negotiations. But the UK’s negotiator David Frost said in a 21 August statement following the seventh round of discussions,  that “it will not be easy to achieve” consensus on the future trading relationship between the country and the bloc.

Meanwhile, a quarter of 138 UK-based financial services firms polled in July by consulting firm EY, said they had a “significant” amount of work left to do to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

Source: Private Equity News

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