Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen to hold last-minute Brexit talks
Friday, 02 October 2020
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Credit: Belga
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold talks on Saturday to take stock of the post-Brexit negotiations and consider the next steps, the Commission’s chief spokesperson announced on Friday.
The meeting will occur a day after the ninth round of negotiations on future EU-UK relations. The new and final round of talks, with little hope of unblocking the many points of contention, is being held this week in Brussels as time is running out to find an agreement that could be ratified in time to come into force on 1 January.
While the UK left the European Union earlier this year, the country is in a transition period during which it remains part of the EU’s customs union and single market until the end of the year.
On Thursday, the European Commission announced that it was opening infringement proceedings against the UK for failing to comply with the terms of the withdrawal agreement signed by both parties, which has the status of an international treaty.
The reason for Brussels’ anger is the controversial Internal Market Bill, which the British government admitted breaches the withdrawal agreement. The bill was approved in the House of Commons on Tuesday, paving the way for its consideration in the House of Lords.