The EU has revealed it won’t be prepared to start out negotiating a free trade deal with Britain till March.
Eric Mamer, chief spokesman for the European Commission, made the feedback at a media briefing in Brussels.
It raises additional doubts in regards to the prospects of the 2 sides coming to an settlement earlier than the tip of the Brexit transition interval in December.
Mr Mamer, when requested about the timeframe for beginning negotiations as soon as Britain has left the bloc on the finish of this month, stated: “The fee can undertake its proposal for the negotiation directives solely as soon as the UK has truly withdrawn from the EU.
“But then there’s nonetheless an institutional course of for these to be adopted by the (European) Council.
“This we all know will take a while, which is why we have now stated we’ll begin negotiations as shortly as we are able to, however it can actually not be earlier than the tip of February, starting of March.
“This shouldn’t be a slowing down or dashing up of the method.
“This is simply the nature of the institutional process and the consultations that need to take place before the negotiation directives can be formally adopted.”
The feedback echo remarks from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
She instructed an viewers on the London School of Economics earlier this month that it will not be attainable to kind out each facet of Britain’s future relationship with the EU earlier than the present deadline.
Mrs von der Leyen warned that either side should “prioritise” which parts are negotiated earlier than the tip of December.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stated he is not going to lengthen the transition interval into 2021, a stance he reiterated in talks with Mrs von der Leyen in Downing Street lately.
But opponents, and a few senior figures within the EU, have warned that this isn’t sufficient time to barter a free trade deal.
As it stands, Britain will depart the EU on the finish of this month as soon as the withdrawal settlement – which covers the phrases of the UK’s EU exit – is ratified.
It will then transfer into the transition interval and the following section of finalising Brexit, the longer term relationship.
Chancellor Sajid Javid stated on the weekend that there is not going to be alignment with EU guidelines post-Brexit – and urged companies to “adjust” to that new actuality.
Responding to this, Mr Mamer stated the UK must settle for much less entry to the EU single market if it follows by way of on its intention to diverge.
“We have had this conversation a number of times and we have made our position very clear,” he stated.
“There is a hyperlink between transferring away from EU laws and the diploma of entry that’s attainable into the only market.
“That place has not modified.
“I think both sides have expressed their positions very clearly and, hence, I have nothing to add to the comments that were made this weekend.”