BERLIN (Reuters) – The German government is urging other EU states to prepare for a no deal Brexit, according an internal document that casts doubt on Britain’s optimism over chances of an early agreement on its future ties with the bloc.
FILE PHOTO: European Union and British flags flutter in front of a chancellery ahead of a visit of British Prime Minister Theresa May in Berlin, Germany, April 9, 2019. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
Britain left the European Union on Jan. 31 and their relationship is governed by a transition arrangement that keeps previous rules in place while new terms are negotiated.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who confirmed last week that Britain has no intention of extending that transition beyond 2020, wants to strike a free trade deal quickly.
On Monday, he suggested an agreement could be reached in July with “a bit of oomph”. But the German government document, dated June 15 and seen by Reuters, shows Berlin expects the negotiations to take longer.
“From September, the negotiations enter a hot phase,” it read. “Britain is already escalating threats in Brussels, wants to settle as much as possible in the shortest possible time and hopes to achieve last-minute success in