Politics Explained

Brexit: Is the deadline for talks really this week?

Boris Johnson has said the UK will walk out from Friday but it may not be that simple, writes Jon Stone

Saturday 10 October 2020 18:53
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier

Brexit is back on the agenda this coming week, with a major summit coming up in Brussels on Thursday and Friday. There’s talk of time running out. But just how long do negotiators have left?

If you’ve been following Britain’s exit from the EU at all, you’ll know that a new agreement has to be in place by 31 December in order to prevent a no deal from happening as the UK leaves the single market. The trade agreement is supposed to replace some of what the EU currently does and hopefully prevent some (though not all) of the chaos that’s expected at ports.

But both sides are agreed that things need to be wrapped up long before 31 December. That’s because any agreement needs to go through the motions: ratification by parliaments on both sides, translation into legal text and different languages.

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