BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Wrapping up even a “bare bones” deal on the future relationship between the European Union and Britain will be fraught with complexity and, with so little time to get it done, a painful “hard” Brexit on Dec. 31 cannot be ruled out, diplomats said. Small toy figure is seen in front of UK and European Union displayed flags in this illustration picture, October 17, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration A basic agreement would have to include a free trade pact, a deal on preserving a “level playing field” of rules and standards to guarantee fair competition, and a governance structure to expand the relationship later. After Britain formally leaves the EU on Jan. 31, it enters a transition period until the end of 2020 during which it will remain an EU member in all but name while both sides try to hammer out a deal on their future relationship. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson insists he will not seek an extension of the transition period. That leaves a tight deadline to avoid a potentially damaging “no-deal” outcome at the end of the year. An agreement would have to be struck by the middle of October to leave time needed… Read full this story
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