EU ambassador warns a trade deal must be finished by October to avoid a hard Brexit

PUBLISHED: 16:07 18 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:07 18 June 2020

Joao Vale de Almeida is the EU ambassador to the UK; Youtube

Joao Vale de Almeida is the EU ambassador to the UK; Youtube

Archant

The EU ambassador to the UK has warned that Britain faces crashing out of the single market if it does not reach a deal with Brussels by October.

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only continue to grow with your support.

Ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida stressed that the two sides were in a “unique and historic” situation during a Chatham House debate on the future of the EU-UK relationship.

“The United Kingdom has confirmed that they don’t want to extend the transition period. We took note,” he said.

“If you do a count down and if you count the need for ratification time, it means that we need to have a deal by, let’s say, the end of October, which is in exactly four months.”

He added: “We were open for that, but we respect the United Kingdom position.”

Boris Johnson has repeatedly ruled out prolonging negotiations, warning that Britain would walk away from talks if the EU did not cede to UK demands on the level playing field and fisheries. Downing Street have now said that a deal is possible by July.

You may also want to watch:

Probed on whether an outline of a deal could be reached within the prime minister’s ambitious new timeline, Vale de Almeida said: “I think that speed is good. We need to accelerate.

“We need to use every week and every month to try to find a deal.

“But when you drive a car and you speed too much, you can risk falling out of the road, so you need to be careful.”

The ambassador said a so-called “skinny deal” being proposed by the UK could be more difficult to agree and ratify than a comprehensive agreement.

“Sometimes skinny deals are more difficult to negotiate than larger deals,” he remarked.

“In a more comprehensive deal you can find better trade offs, you can accommodate different interests.”

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £20

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest pro-European campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.