EU-UK agreement must be reached in time

The European business community is extremely concerned by the lack of progress in the EU-UK negotiations. There are just few months left for both sides to reach an agreement and it seems talks are in a deadlock. Avoiding cliff-edge must be a priority for the EU and the UK. The COVID-19 is already responsible for an unprecedented economic slowdown of 10% on average in Europe. The last thing we need is adding further disruption while companies and citizens are struggling to come out of this crisis.

  • First and foremost, it is imperative that both sides inject new political momentum in the negotiations, overcome the current impasse and possibly agree on landing zones. We need to accelerate and intensify negotiating rounds all through summer to allow enough time for negotiators to make substantial progress.
  • Secondly, we must see concrete progress in the coming weeks in all areas including the most sensitive ones like level playing field to allow for an ambitious and comprehensive agreement to be reached in time. Issues like tariffs and rules of origin, non-tariff barriers and regulatory cooperation, data flows, workers mobility, public procurement or air transport are important to maintain fluid trade between the EU and the UK. However, considering the limited time available ahead of us we urge both sides to stay committed to the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration, be pragmatic and explore all possible options to avoid no-deal including an extension of the transition period.
  • Third, we trust the EU and the UK will do their utmost to conclude an ambitious and comprehensive agreement in time to allow for ratification and entering into force by 1 January 2021. This would give companies the stability, clarity and certainty they need while they are managing through the current crisis. Both sides should look at ways to avoid chaos and ensure a smooth transition to the new EU-UK relationship.
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