Great Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU) without a formal agreement will finally take place at exactly 11 p.m. London time on January 31, 2020. Thereafter, during an 11-month transition period, the entire United Kingdom will temporarily abide with the EU rules, whilst moving forward without any representation in the EU organization. The period of transition is set to expire on December 31, 2020.
During the transition term, negotiations for a formal agreement governing trading and diplomatic relationships between Great Britain and the EU will continue until December 31, 2020. In the event that a formal Brexit deal has not been reached by the end of the year, the No-Deal Brexit status continues with still uncertain trade arrangements and agreements, including rules governing aviation standards, data sharing and security, supply of electricity and regulation of medicines.
Although certain barriers and potentially higher costs are anticipated, the formality of the Brexit move, will enable Great Britain to propose and enter into trading negotiations with other nations, starting February 01, 2020. That is why UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has expressly stated that as much as possible, he prefers not to prolong the negotiation process nor agree to any legislation that would extend the deadline for the negotiation of a Brexit deal at the end of the 11-month transition period.
However, since the ministers of the European Union are set to reconvene in Brussels in February 25, 2020, negotiations for the Brexit deal will still be on hold. The start of the negotiation process will have to wait until the EU Commission re-confirms its approval of French diplomat Michel Barnier as the official EU representative in the negotiation process. This means that the earliest by which talks regarding Brexit move will start, will be in March 2020.
Calls for Extension of Transition Period Rejected
At this early stage, the Labour and Liberal Democrats in Parliament are already calling for the extension of the December 31, 2020 end of the transition period; arguing that the 11-month time frame is much too short within which to negotiate a favourable deal. As it is, a great many are sceptical that a Brexit deal could be finalized within a short time, considering that trade agreements typically take years to reach finalisation.
Nonetheless, EU negotiator Michel Barnier said they intend “do the maximum” in finalising a Brexit deal within the current time frame. The French politician opines that Britain is entitled to reject any calls for extension, saying that the British government has the right to choose whatever procedure it deems fit in moving forward with the No-Deal Brexit.