In Brief

EU leaders demand bloc publishes no-deal planning as Brexit talks enter ‘final push’

Senior diplomats warn EU27 may launch emergency plans if negotiations fail

Michel Barnier has told the European Commission that Brexit negotiators are in the “final push” to secure a trade deal with the UK.

The EU’s chief negotiator (pictured) gave the update as senior diplomats warned that governments may begin enacting “emergency no-deal plans if a trade accord was not struck by Friday”, The Telegraph reports.

Despite the risk that no-deal planning “could poison the ongoing negotiations”, with just six weeks until the transition period ends “the EU had no choice but to start work on its no-deal safety net”, a senior diplomat told the paper.

David Frost, the UK’s most senior Brexit negotiator, has told Boris Johnson that he may be able to expect a Brexit deal “early next week”, suggesting that the EU27 may be forced into beginning preparations for a no-deal exit.

EU Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, who is also the EU trade commissioner, said that negotiations are continuing with “great intensity”, adding “we are now in the last moments to reach this agreement”.

European leaders are now expected to “demand” that the bloc’s no-deal planning is circulated “amid fears that Brexit negotiations are dragging on without businesses knowing what they need to prepare for in the worst scenario”, The Times says.

The Netherlands, France and Belgium are particularly concerned about the continued uncertainty around fishing rights, and want to avoid being “hit by economic disruption without EU contingency measures to cushion the blow of no-deal”, the paper adds.

Barnier has held off on releasing the no-deal planning as he feared it would give Britain too much insight into the EU27’s plans during the negotiations and post-Brexit.

Recommended

Deal or no deal: showdown Brexit talks resuming in Brussels
Brexit trade talks to resume between the European Union and the UK
In Depth

Deal or no deal: showdown Brexit talks resuming in Brussels

How many people need to be vaccinated against Covid to get life back to normal?
Margaret Keenan becomes the first patient in the UK to receive the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine
In Focus

How many people need to be vaccinated against Covid to get life back to normal?

Five things we learned from Sturgeon’s testimony to Salmond inquiry
Nicola Sturgeon gives evidence to a Scottish Parliament committee
Why we’re talking about . . .

Five things we learned from Sturgeon’s testimony to Salmond inquiry

Will children be vaccinated against Covid?
Children of key workers attend school during the third national lockdown
Getting to grips with . . .

Will children be vaccinated against Covid?

Popular articles

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 1 March 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 1 March 2021

Best TV crime dramas to watch in 2021
Line of Duty series six returns to BBC One in 2021
In Depth

Best TV crime dramas to watch in 2021

Are Harry and Meghan pushing it with their request for press privacy?
Harry and Meghan
The latest on . . .

Are Harry and Meghan pushing it with their request for press privacy?