UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to be briefed about the spiralling post-Brexit negotiations between the European Union and Britain after he returns to work on April 27 after three weeks. While the British PM was battling coronavirus infection and was even hospitalised for several days, UK-EU talks began amid the global health crisis. After an initial delay in setting the timeline for meetings, when the discussions did begin, EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier called the talks ‘disappointing’.
Barnier had also said that in a bid to fulfil the timeline proposed by Britain, there needs to be ‘genuine progress’ in the post-Brexit talks and a decision on extending the 11-month transition period by June. However, the UK has reportedly said that ‘limited progress’ had been made in the talks expressed the need to move ahead in the negotiations in ‘constructive fashion’. Both sides will reportedly hold two more rounds of talks before the transition period ends in December. Barnier has said that the joint decision on extending the period will be taken by June 30.
According to international media reports, Johnson is expected to urge the European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen and other leaders of EU nations to pay attention to Britain’s side of demands in the negotiations. While some reports have suggested that the EU-UK talks are doomed to fail, sources of a British media suggest the British officials would require to think of a ‘rescue’ over the next fortnight. The UK is set to leave the EU single market and customs union at the end of 2020. After the transition period ends, the UK will be eligible to EU tariffs if both sides do not strike a deal.
Downing Street has already said that it would leave the talks in June unless there is a “broad outline” of a deal. According to an official release by the British government setting out the mandate for its future relationship with the EU and its negotiations, London would “move away” from the discussions of a trade accord after working in a “speedy and determined fashion”. The UK PM's government is hoping for a 'free-trade' agreement with the 27-nation-bloc to be “rapidly finalised by September”.