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7 Sep, 2020 08:34

‘Desperate & self-defeating strategy’: EU diplomats condemn UK’s reported plan to override parts of divorce deal

‘Desperate & self-defeating strategy’: EU diplomats condemn UK’s reported plan to override parts of divorce deal

Post-Brexit trade talks were in crisis again on Monday as Britain warned it could effectively override the divorce deal it signed unless the bloc agrees to a free-trade deal by October 15.

The UK is planning new legislation that will override key parts of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. If implemented, the step could jeopardize a treaty signed in January and stoke tension in Northern Ireland.

Britain has set a deadline of October 15 to strike a free-trade deal with the bloc. If none is agreed, both sides should “accept that and move on,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson will say on Monday, according to comments released by his office.

“If we can’t agree by then, then I do not see that there will be a free-trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on,” the PM is expected to say.

Without a deal, nearly $1 trillion in trade between Britain and the EU could be thrown into uncertainty.

Also on rt.com Not afraid to walk away: Top UK negotiator warns EU it’s not scared of a no-deal Brexit

Officials and diplomats in Brussels are urging the agreements to be upheld as it is a fundamental principle in international law.

“If the UK chose not to respect its international obligations, it would undermine its international standing,” Reuters quoted an EU diplomat as saying on Monday. “Who would want to agree trade deals with a country that doesn’t implement international treaties? It would be a desperate and ultimately self-defeating strategy.”

Meanwhile, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier lamented the difficult talks because the “British want the best of both worlds.” He added that the agreement on fisheries was a prerequisite for the deal.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney also offered his opinion, tweeting that the UK’s reported move “would be a very unwise way to proceed.”

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