The German chancellor addressed her country’s business leaders that collapse of Brexit talks cannot be ruled out just months before the deal has to be agreed.
In between of the talks Angela Merkel admitted to Germany’s key financial players on the conference in Frankfurt, the Guardian reported. This came as an unexpected notion from Merkel, who had mostly played the backseat role in the talks between the EU and UK, intervene only in critical points.
“We don’t want the discussions to break down. We will use all our force and creativity to make sure a deal happens. We don’t want these negotiations to collapse. But we also can’t fully rule that out because we still have no result,” Merkel said.
The latest round of negotiations established that the EU needs a withdrawal statement which would cover the EU citizens’ rights, the £39 billion divorce bill and the new regulations for the Irish border and the political declaration on the future deal by November the latest.
The EU leaders and the British government still have some opportunities to agree on a deal in September in Austria and during another round of talks in October. During the meeting is Salzburg, according to the Guardian, the EU 27 are planning a “carrot and stick” approach, offering British PM May some evidence of progress in negotiations yet with a sharp warning that they will need a plan for Northern Ireland within weeks.
The closest version to the final agreement that has been discussed is the Chequers plan which had received a warm welcome among the EU representatives, however was heavily criticized within the UK government, making several pro-Brexit cabinet ministers resigning in protest, including Boris Johnson who called the plan “a disaster” in his recent column for the Daily Telegraph. Johnson had criticized May for undermining Brexit as the Chequers Plan is “a deal that means still complying with many EU rules, but now with no say on shaping them.”
The EU 27, on the other hand, is extremely concerned about the Irish border issue and the possible checks on the EU goods over the border. The Guardian reported that the urgency of the agreement in November is dictated by the fears that Britain would push the Northern Ireland border question back into the transition period after the EU complete withdrawal on March 29, 2019. The EU had planned an emergency summit on November, 13 in case the agreement won’t be ready during September and October talks.