Germany dumps plans for Brexit talks at EU summit after summer of ‘completely wasted’ negotiations
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Germany has shelved plans to discuss Brexit at an EU ambassadors summit in September due to a lack of 'tangible progress' in EU-UK trade talks.
The German government, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU council, had planned to discuss Brexit during the high-level diplomatic meeting on September 2.
But, following a lack of 'tangible progress' in Brexit trade talks, Germany has removed the topic from its agenda, The Guardian has learnt.
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Brussels officials now believe the UK is planning to risk a no-deal Brexit when the transition period ends and will seek to blame Brussels for talks failing.
'Since there hasn't been any tangible progress in EU-UK negotiations, the Brexit item was taken off the agenda,' an EU diplomat said.
UK negotiators had pegged their hopes on Angela Merkel delivering a deal by the autumn but those aspirations may now be dashed.
'Over the recent months Franco-German cooperation has gained new traction,' another EU insider said.
'Given this new reality it would be futile to wait for a white knight from Paris or Berlin to come to the rescue.'
Another EU official told The Guardian that the mood in the EU negotiating team is 'bleak', adding that time is running out to negotiate a complex legal treaty.
'We have had the whole summer completely wasted, a cabinet that doesn't understand how the negotiations work, a prime minister who, I think, doesn't understand how the negotiations work – because he is under the wrong impression that he can pull off negotiating at the 11th hour,' they said.
Last week, chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier said he was 'disappointed and surprised' over the lack of talks, adding they risked going 'backwards'.
He warned there was 'very little time left' to conclude negotiations with the October deadline to have a deal sorted and ratified looming large.
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