The coronavirus crisis is likely to have the greatest impact on the British economy in the coming year
Without a post-Brexit deal, there is a risk of a hard economic break from Brussels, with tariffs and other trade barriers
British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said on Sunday he does not believe in a post-Brexit trade pact “at any price.”
“I think we’re making progress in the talks and I remain hopeful that we can reach resolution,” he said on Sunday in a BBC interview.
“I think we’re being entirely reasonable with our requests and have been consistent and transparent through this process about what’s important to us. But we will prosper in any eventuality,” he said.
Such an agreement would certainly make a lot of things easier in the short term. However, the coronavirus crisis is likely to have the greatest impact on the British economy in the coming year.
The desired free trade agreement should come into force on January 1, when the transition phase after Britain’s departure from the European Union ends. Britain formally left the bloc in January, but continues to enjoy all the benefits of EU membership during the transition period.
Without a post-Brexit deal, there is a risk of a hard economic break from Brussels, with tariffs and other trade barriers.
Because an agreement still has to be ratified, there are only a few days left for one to be reached. Both sides also negotiated by videoconference over the weekend.
The negotiations have been sluggish for months. On Friday, however, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “After difficult weeks with very, very slow progress, we are now seeing more progress, more movement on important points” but she admitted that it was still “several metres to the finish line.”
While the talks between London and Brussels drag on, Britain and Canada signed a tentative trade deal on Saturday to continue to secure their economic ties.
This will pave the way for negotiations from 2021 for “a new more ambitious deal,” International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said in London.
The trade in cars, beef, salmon and gin could continue unhindered, Truss said on Twitter.