UK and the EU to hold Brexit emergency talks

REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

Britain and the European Union will be holding emergency talks to discuss UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to undercut parts of the Brexit withdrawal treaty. Brussels warned that this will deter any chance of a trade deal.

Britain formally left the EU on Jan. 31 but talks on a new trade deal before the end of a status-quo transition arrangement in December have met a hurdle particularly on state aid rules and fishing.

After Britain explicitly stated that it would act outside international law by breaching the divorce treaty, EU negotiators are trying to understand how to deal with the UK after four years of Brexit talks.

EU Vice President Maros Sefcovic is expected to travel to London to meet Michael Gove for the emergency talks. These will happen at the same time that scheduled trade talks between chief negotiators Michel Barnier and David Frost are held.

“The EU seeks clarifications from the UK on the full and timely implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement.”

After the hectic twists and turns of the Brexit crisis, Europe’s leaders have been handed an ultimatum by Britain: accept the breach of the treaty or prepare for a messy divorce when Britain finally disentangles at the end of the year.