Boris Johnson is going to demand the European Union agree to an outline of the future Brexit trade deal by the end of the summer, Katya Adler suggested. Mr Johnson is due to attempt pushing for talks to speed up in a virtual meeting with Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel on Monday. Ms Adler forecast the Prime Minister will set a strict deadline for Brussels to ensure an agreement is in place before the year is out.
Speaking to the Today programme, the BBC Europe editor said: “I’m sure we still have the Brexit divorce negotiations fresh in our mind and how many deadlines we’ve seen come and go.
“I think we’re going to hear different deadlines, for example, the Prime Minister saying, ‘speed up negotiations over the summer.’
“And the UK expects to see the outlines of a deal by the end of the summer in order for workers and businesses to prepare for all of the changes ahead.”
She continued: “The EU says, ‘the deadline is October 31.’
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“You have to get the deal in place by then or there is not enough time for both sides to ratify or there is not enough time for the next UK deadline which is to get the deal done and dusted by the end of the year.”
But Ms Adler predicted Brussels is likely to dismiss any summer ultimatum due to the pressure most EU member states have been facing because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Europe expert added: “Privately, on the EU side, they definitely think that end of summer deadline from the UK is unrealistic.
“EU leaders are very much focused on COVID-19 and the economic fallout, they’re not paying attention to Brexit. There’s going to be a creeping feeling of dejá vù.”
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