Brexit is now entering a new dance hall.
The new EU Trade Commissioner, Phil Hogan, has in recent days several times said that he believes that PM Boris Johnson and the UK will change their view on the length of the transition period.
To Irish Times Hogan stated: "The British prime minister Boris Johnson will abandon his pledge not to extend the transition period for the UK’s exit from the European Union beyond December 2020". He continued, “In the past, we saw the way the prime minister promised to die in the ditch rather than extend the deadline for Brexit, only for him to do just that. I don’t believe prime minister Johnson will die in the ditch over the timeline for the future relationship either,” Mr Hogan said in an interview with The Irish Times, referring to the need to negotiate the terms of the UK and EU’s future relationship within a transition period."
It is important to note that the British government’s decision to include a clause in legislation ruling out an extension of the transition period beyond the end of 2020.
Earlier last week, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said she had “serious concern” over the limited time available for the future relationship negotiations and urged Mr Johnson to reconsider the deadline.
I don't think that our European leaders will see this happening. It is obvious that the United Kingdom has a wish, an agenda and a number of good reasons for making the transition period a short as possible. On the other hand, the European Union has its own reasons to make the transition period longer.
Taking into account that it is difficult and challenging, but not impossible if there are political will and leadership, to negotiate; future relations, a new Customs cooperation, a new border model and a Free Trade Agreement - in eleven months, it is no surprise that the time factor moves quickly to the centre of the dialogue.
We will now see more of this dance over the months to come. The EU said "we need more time", the UK answering "there are eleven months".
It's called negotiations.
MD/CEO KGH Global Consulting