BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – Leaders from Britain and the European Union agreed on Monday that talks on their future relationship should be stepped up to clinch a deal, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggesting an agreement could be reached in July with “a bit of oomph”.
FILE PHOTO: Small toy figures are seen in front of a Brexit logo in this illustration picture, March 30, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
With a status-quo transition deal set to run out at the end of the year, the two are seeking a free trade agreement. But businesses on both sides are being told to prepare for a no-deal outcome that some fear would complicate trade and hurt jobs.
“I don’t think we’re actually that far apart but what we need now is to see a bit of oomph in the negotiations,” Johnson said, adding that he had told the EU’s top representatives that there was a need to “put a tiger in the tank” of the talks.
“The faster we can do this the better, and we see no reason why you shouldn’t get this done in July.”
Earlier, after a video conference between Johnson, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the leaders of the European Council and European Parliament, the two sides said they “agreed … that new momentum was required”.
Britain left the EU on