The December 31, 2020 deadline for Brexit negotiations is inexorably approaching.
While many subjects had progressed, negotiator Michel Bernier notes that the most political blockages remain.
The next few hours will be decisive in hoping to see an agreement concluded.
"The clock is ticking", the clock is ticking… This phrase has often been heard in connection with the Brexit negotiations, but this time there is really very little time left.
With the negotiator Michel Bernier, in London since Friday evening, Brussels finally hopes to see more clearly this weekend.
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Soon no more time to make the deal
Even in the home stretch, Europeans still don't know what's in Boris Johnson's mind.
As time is running out, they are still speculating on the British Prime Minister's willingness to truly strike a deal.
Yet the next few hours are critical.
In fact, there will soon be no time to conclude materially, because it takes a few weeks to translate the 600 pages of the possible treaty into all languages, and for the European and British Parliaments to ratify it before the effective date. of Brexit, set for January 1, 2021.
Activating preparations for a no-deal outing
Certainly, a large part of the work has been done, between 80 and 90%, they say in Brussels.
But we are still waiting for a breakthrough on the subjects that have annoyed from the start: fishing and the conditions for fair competition after Brexit.
"The technical possibility of an agreement is still there, but its political possibility depends on the British", summarizes a European diplomat.
Anyway, the 27 called on Brussels to activate preparations for a no-deal exit.