The head of the European Commission described on Wednesday that Britain’s chances to negotiate all aspects of its post-Brexit relationship with the European Union to be completed within the year as “basically impossible”.
Ursula von der Leyen bared her thoughts about the EU-UK before meeting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, saying, “The transition time is very, very tight… so it is basically impossible to negotiate all that I have been mentioning, so we will have to prioritize.”
During his meeting with von der Leyen, Johnson restated that he would not resort to extending the 2020 deadline to complete the trade deal.
The UK is set to leave the EU bloc on Jan. 31. Despite this, Britain will undergo a transition phase in which Britain, albeit being no longer an EU member, still has to abide by all the rules set by the EU and including paying for the EU’s budget until the end of 2020.
If the deadline sticks, the trade ties between the UK and EU will be determined by the agreement it has put up with the EU within the deadline, the World Trade Organization’s rules apply.
“Without an extension of the transition period beyond 2020, you cannot expect to agree on every single aspect of our new partnership,” von der Leyen said.